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Why the Earth needs a course correction now

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The massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and economies underscores that our collective survival and well-being hinges on our willingness to confront environmental threats that have global consequences. Key to protecting lives and making communities more resilient to such threats will be an emphasis on proactive, science-based decision-making at all levels of society. And among the most serious risks that science can help illuminate and alleviate are those resulting from human-induced climate change.

To minimize those risks, the Paris Agreement aims to commit nearly 200 nations to implement greenhouse gas emissions-reduction policies consistent with keeping the increase in the global average temperature since preindustrial times to well below 2 degrees Celsius—and pursue efforts to further limit that increase to 1.5 C. Recognizing that the first set of submitted near-term Paris pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), are inadequate by themselves to put the globe on track to meet those long-term targets and thus avoid the worst consequences of change, the accord calls for participating nations to strengthen their NDCs over time. To that end, the United States and a few other nations announced more stringent emissions-reduction goals for 2030 at the virtual climate summit convened by President Joe Biden in April.

To support decision-makers now engaged in or impacted by this ongoing, international effort to stabilize the climate, the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change has released its 2021 Global Change Outlook. Based on a rigorous, integrated analysis of population and , technological change, NDCs, COVID-19 impacts, and other factors, the report presents the Joint Program’s latest projections for the future of the Earth’s energy, food, water and climate systems, as well as prospects for achieving the Paris Agreement’s short and long-term climate goals.

Projections are provided for a baseline “Paris Forever” scenario, in which current (as of March 2021) NDCs are maintained in perpetuity; a Paris 2 degrees Celsius scenario that caps global warming at 2 degrees Celsius by 2100; and two scenarios—”Accelerated Actions” (which includes the newly announced U.S. goal for 2030) and Paris 1.5 C—which limit warming to 1.5 C by 2100. Uncertainty is quantified using 400-member ensembles of projections for each scenario. This year’s outlook introduces a visualization tool that enables a higher-resolution exploration of the first three scenarios.


More aggressive emissions-reduction policies would accelerate a shift away from and toward renewable energy sources between now and 2050.

Under the Paris Forever scenario, the share of fossil fuels in the world’s energy mix drops during this period from about 80 percent to 70 percent, wind and solar expand nearly six-fold and natural gas by 50 percent, and electric vehicles (EVs) account for 38 percent of the light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleet. In the Paris 2 degrees Celsius scenario, the fossil fuel share drops to about 50 percent, wind and solar energy grow almost nine times and natural gas use expands by 25 percent, and EVs account for 50 percent of the global LDV fleet. The Accelerated Actions scenario squeezes out fossil fuels further and makes two-thirds of global LDVs electric.

“Electricity generation from renewable sources becomes a dominant source of power by 2050 in all scenarios, providing 70-80 percent of global power generation by mid-century in the climate stabilization scenarios,” says Joint Program Deputy Director Sergey Paltsev, a lead author of the report. “Climate policies essentially eliminate coal-based generation, while natural gas still keeps a sizeable share because of the need to support variable renewables. Resolving long-term energy storage issues are critical to full decarbonization.”

Food and water

Under the Paris Forever scenario, agriculture and food production will keep growing. This will increase pressure for land-use change, water use, and use of energy-intensive inputs, which will also lead to higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Paris 2 degrees Celsius scenario shows low impacts on agriculture and food production trends by mid-century. Although economic growth tends to shift demand toward more protein-rich food sources, higher carbon costs associated with livestock production drive demand downward, decreasing its prices, and such impacts are transmitted to the food sector.

The Paris Forever scenario indicates that more than half of the world’s population will undergo stresses on its water supply by 2050, and that three of every 10 people will live in water basins where compounding societal and environmental pressures on water resources will be experienced. The majority of expected increases in population under heightened water stress by mid-century cannot be avoided or reduced by climate mitigation efforts alone. Worldwide increases in population, economic growth, and associated water demands are largely a challenge of sustainability—one that can only be alleviated through widespread transformations of water systems’ storage capacity, conveyance, and water-use efficiencies.

Climate and Paris goals

The outlook shows a wide gap between current (as of March 2021) GHG emissions-reduction commitments and those needed to put the world on track to meet the Paris Agreement’s long-term climate goals.

“Our projected global climate responses under the Paris Forever scenario indicate with near-certainty that the world will surpass critical GHG concentration thresholds and climate targets in the coming decades,” says Joint Program Deputy Director C. Adam Schlosser, a lead author of the report.

Under Paris Forever, the world is likely to exceed 2 degrees Celsius global climate warming by 2065, 2.8 C by 2100, and 4.1 C by 2150. While many countries have made good progress toward their NDCs and declared more ambitious GHG emissions mitigation goals, financing to assist the least-developed countries in sustainable development is not forthcoming at the levels needed.

The report’s projections indicate that the long-term climate targets of the Paris Agreement remain achievable, but come with different levels of risk. The Paris 2 degrees Celsius scenario shows negligible likelihood of even the “coolest” trajectories remaining below 1.5 C at the end of the century. The Paris 1.5 C scenario, however, can virtually assure the world of remaining below 2 degrees Celsius of global warming.

An important consequence of climate change is altered precipitation levels. Between now and 2050 under Paris Forever, global precipitation will likely increase by about 1.5 centimeters per year—approximately an additional 7,400 cubic kilometers (or nearly 2 quadrillion gallons) each year. By 2100, the total change in precipitation will most likely rise to about 4 cm/year (or 21,200 km3/yr)—nearly triple that of the mid-century change. Paris 2 degrees Celsius halves global precipitation increases, and Paris 1.5 C reduces them to almost a third of the Paris Forever increases. These aggressive mitigation scenarios convey considerable reductions in flood risk and associated adaptation costs.

Reducing climate risk

For the first time, the outlook explores two well-known sets of risks posed by . Research highlighted in this report indicates that elevated climate-related physical risks will continue to evolve by mid-century, along with heightened transition risks that arise from shifts in the political, technological, social, and economic landscapes that are likely to occur during the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Our outlook shows that we could dramatically reduce overall climate risk through more ambitious and accelerated policy measures and investments aligned with meeting the Paris Agreement’s long-term 1.5 C or 2 degrees Celsius climate targets,” says MIT Joint Program Director Ronald Prinn. “Decision-makers in government, industry, and financial institutions can play a key role in moving us further along this path.”

20 Comments on "Why the Earth needs a course correction now"

  1. DT on Wed, 16th Jun 2021 10:26 pm 

    Humans are the same as yeast in a wine vat, eating and crapping all over the place, until the food is gone or the crap is so thick, or both.

  2. Theedrich on Thu, 17th Jun 2021 4:09 pm 

    Kamala Harris is a rectal aperture. That is why she was chosen.  Not only is she the corresponding color;  she is famous for her question-avoiding, arrogant cackle.  So the Democrats consider her a proper ignorama for the parasitic ignorami who elect them.  She is also the perfect overseer to import a billion or so fecal pieces from the lower bowels of the earth.  All in the name of “humaneness,” — the Democrat term for the colloquial expression, “Up yours, Whitey!”

    Meanwhile, Congressional “conservatives” (mostly Republicans) block foreign aid for contraception and abortion in Black Africa and similar septic tanks, thereby magnifying the numbers who will invade Whiteland.  In the Sahel (sub-Saharan Afroland), the already penniless 85 million denizens are expected to become 200 million by 2050.  The Marxist “humaneness” welcome mat will extinguish Western civilization as a consequence.  Currently, in the media, “conservative” importers are already talking up the need to bring in all of the Afghan translators and their extended families as American troops depart Afghanistan.  It’s only humane, you know.  Yup, America the beautiful.

    Western civilization was nice while it lasted.

  3. Duncan Idaho on Thu, 17th Jun 2021 4:48 pm 

    The For-Profit Health Insurance Industry Has Attached Itself to Us Like a Giant Bloodsucking Tick

    The us is the only first world country without universal health care.
    You get to pay twice as much, and have a shorter lifespan, and a higher infant mortality rate.

  4. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 18th Jun 2021 2:45 am 

    Polarstern team warns Arctic may be past tipping point

    A research team that set sail for the Arctic has warned that the tipping point for irreversible global warming may have already been triggered.

    “The scientist who led the international MOSAiC expedition to the North Pole on Tuesday warned that the point could have already been reached at which irreversible global warming is triggered.

    During its expedition, the German research vessel “Polarstern” drifted through the Arctic on an ice floe for a year to also be able to research the winter at the North Pole, and the effects of climate change.
    What did the research team find?

    “The disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic is one of the first landmines in this minefield, one of the tipping points that we set off first when we push warming too far,” said team leader Markus Rex, adding: “One can essentially ask if we haven’t already stepped on this mine and already set off the beginning of the explosion.””

  5. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 18th Jun 2021 2:51 am 

    Rocky mountain forests now burning more than any point in past 2,000 years

    “For decades, scientists have predicted that climate warming would increase wildfire activity in high-elevation forests beyond the range historically experienced, Higuera said. “It’s sobering to see that it’s clearly happening, and early in the 21st century — not in 2050, not in 2075, but by 2020,” he said.

    Overall, the study is another indication that extreme fire seasons like 2020 — or like 2017 in Montana — will become increasingly common as summers continue to become warmer and drier than in past centuries.”

  6. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 18th Jun 2021 2:54 am 

    Wyoming Towns Annihilated Record Temperatures on Tuesday

    “It wasn’t just the breaking of high-temperature records, it was the obliteration of the records. Or annihilation. Or perhaps eradication. Decimation would work too, but that’s actually an incorrect usage of the word.

    Whatever word or phrase you want to use to describe the heat wave that all but destroyed old high-temperature records in Wyoming on Tuesday, it happened. Simply put, it was hot.”

  7. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 18th Jun 2021 2:56 am 

    Salt Lake hits the hottest temperature ever recorded

    “SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As a dangerous and intense heat wave grips the Great Basin, heat records continue to fall, and Salt Lake City has made history!

    The Salt Lake City airport weather station has reached a temperature of 107 degrees under this historic heatwave. This is the hottest temperature ever recorded in Salt Lake.”

  8. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 18th Jun 2021 3:01 am 

    Heat from below: How the ocean is wearing down the Arctic sea ice

  9. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 18th Jun 2021 3:09 am 

    A California reservoir is expected to fall so low that a hydro-power plant will shut down for first time

    “An unrelenting drought and record heat, both worsened by the changing climate, have pushed the water supply at Northern California’s Lake Oroville to deplete rapidly. As a result of the “alarming levels,” officials will likely be forced to close the Edward Hyatt Power Plant for the first time since it opened in 1967,”

  10. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 18th Jun 2021 3:15 am 

    Before and After Images of Lake Mead Show How Devastating the West’s Drought Really Is

    Lake Mead is currently at historically low levels. The largest reservoir in the country is at its lowest level since being filled in 1937 after the construction of the Hoover Dam.

    The shocking numbers behind the Lake Mead drought crisis

    “It’s not a threat on the horizon; new projections show the first-ever water shortage along the Colorado River is all but certain to be declared later this year.”

  11. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 18th Jun 2021 3:20 am 

    Chamoli disaster: ‘It hit the valley floor like 15 atomic bombs’

    A wedge of glacier-covered rock more than 500m wide and 180m thick just suddenly let go.

    The team calculates almost 27 million cubic metres of material was put into a minute-long descent that at one point was in complete freefall.

    To put this volume in context, it’s about 10 times that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

    When the mass hit the Ronti Gad valley floor, it released the energy equivalent to 15 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

    The other big question back in February was about climate change and the role it might have played in the disaster.

    That’s a tricky one. The team concludes that no single event can be ascribed to climate warming, but they make the point that the frequency of rock falls in the Himalaya is increasing as temperatures rise.

    “Glacier shrinkage uncovers and destabilises mountain flanks and strongly alters the hydrological and thermal regimes of the underlying rock,” the researchers write in their report to Science magazine.

  12. Biden's hairplug on Mon, 21st Jun 2021 4:59 am 

    Intelligent money now goes to Scotland:

    “Scotland ‘bucked the trend’ to attract more foreign investment, survey shows”

    The number of foreign direct investment projects in Scotland grew by 6% despite falls for the UK and Europe, the attractiveness survey by EY found.

    The markets are anticipating Scottish independence and subsequent renewed EU-membership.

    The Scots are well-advised to follow the fantastic example of Ireland, that within 100 years, turned from a miserable UK colony into a Celtic tiger, with a GDP per capita, twice that of the UK:

    “The Case for Scottish Independence and Irish Unification”

    Not to offend the non-existing Irish here, but if Ireland can do that, the Scots certainly can.

    Perhaps Scotland, a reunited Ireland, Wales, as well as Cornwall and French Bretagne should contemplate the formation of a Celtic Union…

    …just like the Slavs have their “Visegrad”, the Mediterraneans their “Club Med” and the smaller NW-European states have their “Hanseatic League”:

    The formation of a few communities of interests could thus streamline the EU and “make it more ready for battle”.

  13. convid-19 is lib mental disease on Mon, 21st Jun 2021 7:19 am 

    please feel at ease among friends, we’re all lovers of supremacist muzzies here

  14. Biden's hairplug on Mon, 21st Jun 2021 7:48 am 

    UK to be put into cultural quarantine by the EU:

    “EU prepares to cut amount of British TV and film shown post-Brexit”

    The end of the West picks up speed, a salutary development.

    Next item on the EU todo-list is a gradual military buildup along the French Channel and patiently wait for the Chinese to be ready to deal the first blow.

    Boy, do we have scores to settle with Batman USA his little Robin:

    Sadly for them, they no longer have the USSR around to do the heavy lifting. Could be crucial.

    “Lord Heseltine suggests Brexit vote allows Germany to win WW2 (in extra time)”

    Lord Heseltine is one of the finest minds, London can up with, perfectly able to think through geopolitics to the last consequence, very much unlike the Brexit boops and their #1, Nigel Farage.

    Heseltine has exactly the same attitude as Farage, namely to ensure that the EU-project will fail, for the benefit of their beloved USA.

    The difference is that Heseltine runs circles around Farage, IQ-wise. Now that Farage pissed in Westminster’s geostrategic soup, the UK no longer has the option of steering the course of the EU from within, like promoting the accession of Turkey or blocking a rapprochement with Russia, the ultimate Anglo-Zionist nightmare.

    In 2016, the notorious punk Friedman explaining the AngloZionist view of geopolitics:

    “Them Again, Plotting For War in Europe”

    A lot has happened since that speech, all to Friedman’s disadvantage.

  15. Biden's hairplug on Mon, 21st Jun 2021 8:04 am 

    Crushing defeat for the Swedish left by populists:

    “Swedish PM Stefan Löfven loses no-confidence vote”

    There is no greater miserable leftist *sshole than this Stefan Löfven jerk and there are a lot of those in Sweden. It was his ambition to turn Sweden into a “humanitarian superpower”, what he got was a Sweden becoming the rape and crime capital of the world, one huge no-go area:

    “Swedish police lose control amid refugee crisis as number of ‘no-go zones’ rises to 55”

    If even devirilized Sweden manages to man-up, wait for the continentals to “get unleashed”.

  16. Biden’s hairplug on Mon, 21st Jun 2021 12:18 pm 

    In America the monkeys are on the loose:

  17. Sissyfuss on Sat, 26th Jun 2021 2:42 pm 

    The battle to keep the rise below 1.5°C or 2°C is already lost thanks to the lag time of emmisions deleterious effects. The battle is to keep below 3°C for that leads to extinction.

  18. FamousDrScanlon on Sat, 26th Jun 2021 4:50 pm 

    Thanks clog, we’ve never heard of Stefan Löfven until just now.

    That makes 1657 politico euro-tard miserable leftist *ssholes you’ve mentioned that we never heard about before and will completely forget about before this sentence ends………..because WE DON’T CARE.

  19. FamousDrScanlon on Sat, 26th Jun 2021 5:12 pm 

    “The battle to keep the rise below 1.5°C or 2°C is already lost thanks to the lag time of emmisions deleterious effects.”

    What battle?

    “The upcoming 26th COP (Conference of the Parties) to be held November 2021 in Glasgow is on the docket for scientists and bureaucrats, as well as big moneyed interests, to knock heads in a formal setting to discuss the state of the planet. If all goes according to plan, like past COPs, powerful economic interests will sabotage what would otherwise be a rather dim forecast of a planet in various stages of collapse, some terminal.

    We’ve seen this act (COP) repeat over and over, ever since COP1 in Berlin in 1995, as each successive COP-ending-ceremony finds the Parties congratulating each other, slaps on the back, for one more successful climate conference of 20,000-30,000 able-bodied professionals wiped-out from overconsumption of Beluga caviar and Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, but subsequently carbon emissions increase the following year, and every following year thereafter. What’s to congratulate?

    More to the point, the annualized CO2 emissions rate is +60% since COP1, not decreasing, not going down, not once. After 25 years of the same identical pattern, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the take-home-work from all 25 COPs mysteriously turns into the antithesis of the mission statement of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

    Every single dime, effort, threat & compliant by the professional Climate Change Denial Industrial Complex & legion of true believer amateur deniers was all for naught.

    The entire ‘battle’, on both sides, was just words.

    PR firms, think tanks and the like were the only winners.

    I LMFAO at the Koch Bros, who alone, spent a few billion on their very own private denial army…for nothing. Ba ha ha

    And on the flip side millions of true believer environmentalists regularly donated money to BIG NGO’s who used it to pay themselves & others to talk & fly from place to place & talk & talk & talk.

    There was never any Plan or intention to decarbonize.

  20. convid-19 is lib mental disease on Sun, 27th Jun 2021 8:59 pm 

    please feel at ease among friends, we’re all lovers of supremacist muzzies here

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