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Earth to warm 3.6 degrees by end of century

Earth to warm 3.6 degrees by end of century thumbnail

By the end of the century, the global temperature is likely to rise more than 3.6 degrees.

This rise in temperature is the ominous conclusion reached by two studies using entirely different methods published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday.

One study used statistical analysis to show there is a 95 percent chance that Earth will warm more than 3.6 degrees at century’s end, and a 1 percent chance that it will be at or below the 3.6-degree mark.

“The likely range of global temperature increase is 2.0-4.9 [degrees Celsius] and our median forecast is 3.2 Celsius,” said Adrian Raftery, author of the first study.

“Our model is based on data which already show the effect of existing emission mitigation policies. Achieving the goal of less than 1.5 Celsius warming will require carbon intensity to decline much faster than in the recent past.”

The second study analyzed past emissions of greenhouse gases and the burning of fossil fuels to show that even if humans suddenly stopped burning fossil fuels now, Earth will continue to heat up about 3.6 degrees by 2100.

It also concluded that if emissions continue for 15 more years, which is more likely than a sudden stop, Earth’s global temperature could rise as much as 5.4 degrees.

“Even if we would stop burning fossil fuels today, then the Earth would continue to warm slowly,” said Thorsten Mauritsen, author of the second study. “It is this committed warming that we estimate.”

Taken together, the similar results present a grim reality.

“These studies are part of the emerging scientific understanding that we’re in even hotter water than we’d thought,” said Bill McKibben, an environmentalist not affiliated with either study.

“We’re a long ways down the path to disastrous global warming, and the policy response — especially in the United States — has been pathetically underwhelming.”

Because both studies were completed before the United States left the Paris Agreement under President Donald Trump earlier this year, that has not been accounted for in either study.

“Clearly the U.S. leaving the Paris Agreement would make the 2 Celsius or 1.5 Celsius targets even harder to achieve than they currently are,” Raftery said.

The 3.6 degrees was set by the 2016 Paris Agreement. It was first proposed as a threshold by Yale economist William Nordhaus in 1977.

The climate has been warming since the burning of fossil fuels began in the late 1800s during the Industrial Revolution, researchers say.

If the mark is surpassed, it has been estimated by scientists that life on the planet will change.

Rising seas, mass extinctions, super droughts, increased wildfires, intense hurricanes, decreased crops and fresh water and the melting of the Arctic are expected.

The impact on human health would be profound. Rising temperatures and shifts in weather would lead to reduced air quality, food and water contamination, more infections carried by mosquitoes and ticks and stress on mental health, according to a recent report from the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health.

Currently, the World Health Organization estimates 12.6 million people die globally due to pollution, extreme weather and climate-related disease.

Climate change between 2030 and 2050 is expected to cause 250,000 additional global deaths, according to the WHO.

The first study used population, carbon emission and gross domestic product data from 152 countries (accounting for 98.7 percent of the world’s population as of 2015) over the past 50 years to develop a new statistical model, said Raftery, a professor of statistics and sociology at the University of Washington.

Many studies come from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change and use climate model scenarios — not forecasts — to use as examples of what might happen, based on specific assumptions about economics, population and carbon emissions in the future.

“This leaves open the question of how likely they are, or whether they cover the range of possibilities,” Raftery said. “In contrast, our results are statistically based and probabilistic, in that they aim to cover the range of likely outcomes.”

What Raftery and his colleagues discovered is that population is not a factor.

“This is due to the fact that much of the expected future population growth will be in Africa, in countries whose carbon emissions are currently very low,” Raftery said.

The study confirms conclusions of many other studies, said Bill Hare, director and senior scientists of nonprofit Climate Analytics. Hare was not affiliated with either study.

“This interesting paper confirms the conclusion about where the world is headed unless there is a major increase in the ambition of climate and energy policies,” Hare said.

The other finding of the study suggests achieving a goal of less than 1.5 Celsius warming would require carbon intensity to decline faster than it has in the past.

“The whole purpose of climate and energy policy is to accelerate decarbonisation and this will necessarily be faster than what we have seen globally,” Hare said.

Mauritsen, author of the second study and climate researcher at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, also shared thoughts on Raftery’s findings.

“It seems interesting in that it uses an economic statistical model that accounts for an increasing energy efficiency as societies develop,” Mauritsen said. “It shows that the 1.5 to 2 degrees (Celsius) targets will not be met without additional mitigation, and suggests that a focus on energy efficiency is the best way forward.”

By combining observations of past global warming and how much heat and carbon is being captured and taken in by the ocean, Mauritsen and his co-author, Robert Pincus, found that even though CO2 has an incredibly long lifetime in the atmosphere, the ocean’s absorption capacity might reduce estimates of global warming by 0.2 degrees Celsius.

They arrived at the “committed” warming of 1.3 Celsius by 2100, and the estimate including the ocean factor is 1.1 degrees Celsius. But that is still 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

“What the study is not concerned with is how future emissions might develop,” Mauritsen said. “This is a societal problem where we as physical scientists have fairly little to add.

“These future emissions will, however, add warming on top of the already committed warming and so our study can act as a baseline for estimating how far we are from reaching various temperature targets.”

Hare also found this study to be consistent with previous papers on global temperatures on the rise.

“It shows, in effect, that unless we start reducing emissions quickly — soon there is a risk that we will overshoot temperature limits like 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius,” Hare said.

“It is just another confirmation of how dangerous the present situation is unless CO2 emissions, which have flatlined in the last few years, really start dropping.

“This addresses a somewhat different question, namely how much warming should we expect if fossil fuel emissions were to suddenly cease,” Raftery said.

“In contrast, our study tries to assess how much warming we should expect given realistic future trajectories of emissions. Thus the other study provides a lower bound on expected emissions and warming, and this is indeed lower than the likely range we find, as we would expect.”

Researchers know that if there is any hope of preventing the outcomes they include in their findings, changing public policy is key.

“The next few years are going to be key in the fight against global warming,” said Dargan Frierson, co-author of the first study.

“Are we going to get to work installing clean energy, or stick to old polluting sources? If we don’t act quickly, we better get to work preparing for many severe consequences of a much hotter world.”

“There are only two realistic paths toward avoiding long-run disaster: Increased financial incentives to avoid greenhouse gas emissions and greatly increased funding for research that will lead to at least partial technological fixes,” said Dick Startz, economist and co-author of the second study.

“Neither is free. Both are better than the catastrophe at the end of the current path.”

Silver linings and hope are hard to find in climate change studies, but they also don’t account for every factor.

“The only bright point is that, as the study authors say, they haven’t factored in the plummeting cost of solar power,” McKibben said.

“That’s the one way out we still might take — but only if our governments take full advantage of the breakthroughs our engineers have produced.”


33 Comments on "Earth to warm 3.6 degrees by end of century"

  1. MASTERMIND on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 2:58 pm 

    Collapse of Global Civilization Starter Pack

  2. dave thompson on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 3:14 pm 

    2100 always seems to be the benchmark of climate change.

  3. Shortend on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 3:40 pm 

    Damnn we ain’t going to see that anyhoot
    From what’s going on now the hand writing is already on the wall..don’t worry too much about the oil fellas..oil can’t make corn shatter…perhaps after that folks will wake up..until then …

  4. Outcast_Searcher on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 4:06 pm 

    “One study used statistical analysis to show there is a 95 percent chance that Earth will warm more than 3.6 degrees at century’s end, and a 1 percent chance that it will be at or below the 3.6-degree mark.”

    Why bother with such “articles”.

    1). Why no citations to the study? No links, no nothing that I see.

    2). Why don’t the numbers here even add up to 100%? With no links and that, why should I give this ANY credibility at all.

    Look, I’m an AGW alarmist, so don’t misunderstand me. However, don’t waste our time with non-credible claims without the ability to proof read or do 3rd grade math — and then not even provide valid links to the underlying claimed studies.

  5. Sissyfuss on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 4:21 pm 

    ” Climate Change between 2030 and 2050 to cause an additional 250,000 Deaths per year.”
    Sorry but that won’t get it done. It’s unnerving to think that the best thing for the continued existence of life on Earth is a massive dieoff of humanity. It shakes one to the core.

  6. MASTERMIND on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 5:02 pm 

    Saudi Aramco CEO believes oil shortage coming despite U.S. shale boom

    Better sell that I-Toy and buy some preps! Once the shortages come gas stations only have a few days supplies. And that will be gone in a few hours with Preppers fueling up bug out trucks and bankers fueling up their private jets!

  7. deadlykillerbeaz on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 6:07 pm 

    Time for sweet corn!

    The temps have been rising with little to no precipitation.

    It’s hot out there!

    The rest of the world has to grin and bear it.


  8. bobinget on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 7:00 pm 

    U.S. Gasoline Consumption 9.59M B/D in May vs 9.44M Last Year.

    WEDNESDAY 10:30 Eastern for June. A trend?

    I can’t believe how hot it is today.
    Is coffee counted as water consumption? If I’m OK.
    Can’t blame folks who won’t leave the AC.

  9. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 7:14 pm 

    Then we have to Air Condition the Garage,
    to keep Pops cool while he works on the Mach 5.

  10. Apneaman on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 7:31 pm 

    Miami Just Had Its Hottest Month on Record

  11. Anonymouse on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 7:46 pm 

    Not to worry, cloggen-fraud will be along any second now to tell us the temp increase is due to solar flares, the northern lights, and clog lighting his own farts with a disposable lighter.

  12. Bloomer on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 8:38 pm 

    Humanity is not going to join hands, sing we are the world and curb carbon emissions. Communities can’t even agree to ban plastic shopping bags FFS.

  13. Makati1 on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 9:19 pm 

    I will only be concerned if it hits the hockey stick on the chart and 2100 becomes 2030 or so.

    I suspect we will do away with ourselves long before 2100. By disease, war, or…

  14. Plantagenet on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 9:45 pm 

    The Paris Accords limiting global warming to 2°C is a sham and a fraud.


  15. Apneaman on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 10:15 pm 

    Two degrees of warming already baked in

    Outcast, here’s the link to the study you seem to be unable to find (like you ever read them). It’s pay walled, but there is a way around many pay walls for those who know how.

    Committed warming inferred from observations

  16. Apneaman on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 10:18 pm 

    Queensland has hottest July on record

  17. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 11:06 pm 

    Bloomer Doomer,
    Watcha got against the single-use, plastic grocery bag?
    They burn great in my wood stove, especially
    if I got some particle board and treated lumber already
    red hot in there.

  18. Apneaman on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 11:07 pm 

    [Part 1] Exposé | The 2º Death Dance – The 1º Cover-up
    December 10, 2010

  19. Apneaman on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 11:11 pm 

    Forget That Big Iceberg–A Smaller One in the Arctic Is More Troubling

    A chunk of ice the size of three Manhattans just broke free in the Arctic, and it has a much clearer link to climate change

  20. Apneaman on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 11:18 pm 

    Scientists Warn of “Biological Annihilation” as Warming Reaches Levels Unseen for 115,000 Years
    Monday, July 31, 2017

    “And there are no indications that things will slow down. Recent research from Harvard University published in the journal, Science Advances, revealed that temperature increases measured over recent decades fail to fully reflect the planetary warming that is already in the pipeline for our planet, and showed that the ultimate heating up of the Earth could be much worse than previously feared.”

  21. Bloomer on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 11:54 pm 

    Great links Apneaman.

    Always did wonder what happened to , I guess they were no match for the animal spirits of free enterprise. Long live the plastic shopping bag…

  22. Shortend on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 1:10 am 

    San Antonio broke the record high temperature for a second day in a row as some areas were hit by quick showers with heavy winds.
    Despite the quick shower, Sunday went down as the hottest day of the year so far in San Antonio, according to data from the National Weather Service.
    Corey Van Pelt, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Austin/San Antonio forecast office in New Braunfels, said the temperature Sunday reached 105 degrees, breaking a record of 104 which was set 1960. On Saturday, temperatures hit 104 degrees, surpassing the record of 103 set in 1946

    Alarm alarm….

  23. Cloggie on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 1:18 am 

    The oil, coal, gas & fracking industry, as well as the conventional car industry will be killed rather quickly by messages like these. Peak demand oil 2030 could come much earlier.

    Transition 2030 rather than 2050 in Europe is doable.

    Temperature Netherlands July 2017 exactly average, but very wet. 5 Summer days rather than the average 9:

  24. Apneaman on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 1:27 am 

    Everyone’s favorite super geeky and honest to a fault Canadian scientist, Paul Beckwith, with a book review and implications.

    Why the PACE of Almost ALL Life (Including Death Rates) Speeds Up With Global Warming

    Geoffrey West’s long-anticipated book Scale emerges

    “In paper after paper over 25 years, Geoffrey West and his SFI colleagues methodically built a case for universal, mathematical scaling laws common to biological and human social systems.

    West’s assertion that despite their striking differences, all the world’s cities are simply scaled versions of one another—and possibly an extension of the biological systems of which they’re made—has made his name synonymous with the notion of a “science of cities.”

    Scale Geoffrey West talked about his book Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies, in which he discusses the universal laws that govern everything from plants and animals to cities and economics.

    Methinks the humans are just a scaled up Cancer, but one that likes to make up stories that it is anything but. Sorry Cancer apes, but you are what you are.

  25. Apneaman on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 1:43 am 

    Clog, right on cue.

    Anthropogenic Global Warming

    Earth = 510,000,000 km²

    Netherlands = 41,543 km²

    I guess scale was another one of those pesky thingy’s they forgot to teach you in those physics classes to ‘claim’ to have attended.

    Here is the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills by answering a simple math question.

    What percent of the earths area (km²) does the Netherlands account for?

  26. Cloggie on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 1:47 am

    “Methane-eating microbes may reduce release of gases as Antarctic ice sheets melt”

  27. Cloggie on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 1:50 am 

    Clog, right on cue.

    Apneaman and facts, a problematic relationship.

    Arctic sea ice appears to have reached on March 7 a record low wintertime maximum extent, according to scientists at NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. And on the opposite side of the planet, on March 3 sea ice around Antarctica hit its lowest extent ever recorded by satellites at the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, a surprising turn of events after decades of moderate sea ice expansion.

  28. Cloggie on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 3:11 am 

    Everyone’s favorite super geeky and honest to a fault Canadian scientist, Paul Beckwith, with a book review and implications.

    Paul Beckwith, laser researcher by profession and chess promoter. Changed to climate by 2011. No independent climate research.

    Drama queen.

  29. peakyeast on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 5:44 am 

    “Scientists Warn of “Biological Annihilation” as Warming Reaches Levels Unseen for 115,000 Years Monday, July 31, 2017 ”

    Since we had iceage for 100.000 of those 115.000 years – guess what – it was COLDER for all that time.. And another big surprise is that at the end of the glacial period – things get warmer.. And the biggest surprise is that ice melts when it gets warmer..


    Now if they had said 500KY then there might actually have been something worthwhile to announce. But pointing to the immediate “neighboughring” event in geological time and saying we havent seen anything like that since is useless. Its actually stupid.

    Never mind that just about all previous interglacials were warmer than this one…

  30. MASTERMIND on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 9:10 pm 

    From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, with the pace of increase greater after 2006(Same year Conventional Oil Peaked).

  31. DMyers on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 11:11 pm 

    Master, you may have something there with the suicide rate, but you’ll never prove it. May I call you Massa?

    Peakyeast raises what I consider a relevant fact. There is a larger context to this. There is a four hundred thousand year record from ice core analysis. This record shows very regular intervals of glaciation followed by warming. Cold rules in a proportion of about eight to two.

    So, let’s see, a four hundred thousand year record as opposed to the ten thousand year history of humanity. This history is an isolated warm period. God did not ordain a year round seventy five degree blessing on humanity. Humanity is the byproduct of the latest inter-glacial period. It has no claim to eternity. The Universe will follow its tendencies without regard as to whether humans are comfortable.

    We just ignore the 400,000 year template and opt to imagine humanity can offset such an impervious cycle. The detriment is already built in. Face it.

    By the way, anyone who wants to argue the sun has not been shown to be a direct determinant of Earth temperatures should probably take a minute to read about the “Little Ice Age”. By a huge consensus, that cold spell was a direct consequence of a solar minimum, not a failure of internal combustion engines to produce enough CO2. All I’m saying is, let’s include the facts in our discussions.

  32. Go Speed Racer on Wed, 2nd Aug 2017 12:48 am 

    What we can do, is plug in lots of electric heaters so that the next ice-age won’t happen.

  33. Shortend on Wed, 2nd Aug 2017 1:00 am 

    Its not your imagination

    It’s Not Your Imagination.
    Summers Are Getting Hotter
    James Hansen, a retired NASA climate scientist and professor at Columbia University, shows how summer temperatures have shifted toward more extreme heat over the past several decades.

    To create the bell curves, Dr. Hansen and two colleagues compared actual summer temperatures for each decade since the 1980s to a fixed baseline average. During the base period, 1951 to 1980, about a third of local summer temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere were in what they called a “near average” or normal range. A third were considered cold; a third were hot.

    Since then, summer temperatures have shifted drastically, the researchers found. Between 2005 and 2015, two-thirds of values were in the hot category, and nearly 15 percent were in a new category: extremely hot.

    Practically, that means most summers are now either hot or extremely hot compared with the mid-20th century.

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