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And in Good News

Written By: - Date published: 1:38 pm, May 13th, 2013 - 19 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming - Tags: , , ,

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.

19 comments on “And in Good News ”

  1. Zorr 1

    I need to ask because I am slightly confused by the 4C rise (mainly because the language around it seems a little confusing). Are we talking about 4C “locked in” by 2050 or actual 4C rise in global temperatures by 2050?

    (no matter how much I read, I never feel clear on this point)

    • Bill 1.1

      The 400ppm CO2 that are in the atmosphere right now entail a warming of roughly 4 degrees C – maybe more. That’s from measurements contained in seabed core samples from the last time there was a sustained period of 400ppm of atmospheric CO2.

      Major recent studies are pointing to an actual 4 degrees C increase by some time around 2050.

      If you link through to the Kevin Anderson lecture I’ve provided in the post, he explains it better than I can.

      • Zorr 1.1.1

        Yeah – I’ve seen his lecture and he’s good. I am just never sure when people throw around temperatures or dates as to whether they are referring to the point at which it gets locked in or if it’s the point at which we get the award for reaching a new high score… 😛

        tbh – 4C by 2050 is a scary prospect and one I doubt we will see thwarted…

    • johnm 1.2

      Hi Zorr
      My understanding it means a 4C rise in the Global average temperature. Therefore some places may vary down to +1C and others will in places be 7 or 8C above current average temps. Spells disaster for all ecosystems including man’s food production. If positive feedbacks continue to get worse it could mean humanity will have its game cut down to a billion or less!

  2. Thanks Bill. Kinda puts the Aaron Gilmore stuff into perspective. If only the media would attack the Government’s failure to do anything with the same level of intensity.

  3. tinfoilhat 3

    I’m sad to say it but nothing short of a massive natural disaster will prevent global carbon emissions continuing to grow through the next decade.

    • Bill 3.1

      No. A pre-meditated disaster visited upon Capitalism and the market economy through the simple act of ongoing non-participation – a movement of conscientious objection as it were – would do it. And that doesn’t mean we retreat into our homes and starve. It means we produce and distribute (mostly) locally using democratic systems that we, ourselves, develop to serve our needs.

      And it means not contributing to the cumulative total of atmospheric carbon through activities we undertake unless we have very, very good justification for it. This post http://thestandard.org.nz/if/ contains, to my way of thinking, some of the absolutely necessary changes we need to make.

      • tinfoilhat 3.1.1

        I don’t disagree with any of that Bill just IMO it is nigh on impossible to have such a movement occur with our current political leadership locally and around the world, and the likes of labour and the greens under Norman won’t be any better just like Mickysavage above hot air and no action.

  4. ghostrider888 4

    often licked, never sweeten Bill. (could have done with a bigger Green lolli Pop.)

  5. weka 5

    Pah, who cares about some birds and plants and shit anyway, right? How many people directly understand what biodiversity is, and why their lives are dependent on it? Although I would have thought all the attention that bee Colony Collapse Disorder garnered would have woken more people up.

    … human Colony Collapse Disorder 8-]

  6. fambo 6

    In David Bowie’s song Five Years from the album Ziggy Stardust nearly everyone is upset that the world only has five years left. Who would have thought that when it really happened the vast majority of people wouldn’t really care.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Five years left? That’s enough time to become a millionaire, what’s there to complain about?

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    We have to get off capitalist economic activity, get off fossil fuels, and get off population increases.

    Whatever the PPM measurement is, it’s only a symptom of a civilisation addicted to economic and population growth.

    • Private Baldrick 7.1

      The turnip and I have decided not to have any little turnips.

      • Arfamo 7.1.1

        Fair enough. Why proceed if you know the poor things’d just be vegetables for the rest of their life.

  8. “So, as of right now, we are on track for a 4 degrees C rise in temperature by about 2050.”

    And of course your source has a track record of accurate predictions to back this one up?


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