Jeff Price and Rachel Warren of the Tyndall Institute have just published a rather upbeat piece of research.
The good news is that 60 per cent of the projected climatic range loss for biodiversity due to climate change may, in fact not be lost and could gain some 40 years in which to adapt to new conditions– if global carbon emissions peak in 2016.
So, it might not be the case that half of the plants and one third of the animals of the 50 000 globally widespread and common species they looked at will lose more than half of their climatic range by 2080. And that’s good.
But then, as Kevin Anderson has pointed out previously, global carbon emissions are rising at a rate of approximately 3% p.a. and nobody seriously thinks that a global peak by 2016 is in any way feasible.
But not to worry, their fallback piece of good news is that if emissions peak by 2030, then 40% of the projected losses will not eventuate.
Except that nobody seriously expects global emissions to peak by 2030. And here’s why.
If Annex 2 nations (China, India etc) managed to peak their emissions by 2025 and those emissions only grew at 3.5% until then – and if they then reduced their emissions by a whopping 7% p.a, year on year thereafter, then there would be (roughly) a 50/50 chance that 2 degrees C warming could be avoided…assuming that Annex 1 nations (ourselves and Europe, US etc) had attained absolute zero emissions from all sources by 2010.
And…yup. We didn’t do that and couldn’t possibly have achieved that under any circumstances.
So, as of right now, we are on track for a 4 degrees C rise in temperature by about 2050. And to avoid that, Annex 1 nations need to reduce emissions by 90+ % by 2030 – not peak them by 2030.
So half of the plants and a third of the animals that were the subject of the research won’t get a futile 40 years in which to somehow displace their current global range thousands of km or adapt to 4 degrees C warming.
But you know, since I headed this post ‘Good News’, here it is. You have absolute governmental permission – even their insistence – to go to your job, save for retirement and put a nest egg aside for your children’s, erm…future.
And if that doesn’t quite cut it for you on a Monday, then there’s always the can-can girl eye candy I guess.