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back to article Warming: 6°C unlikely, 2°C nearly certain

Under “business as usual” global warming will almost certainly exceed 2°C by 2100, but the high-end extreme range of warming of 6°C is unlikely to occur. That “good news, bad news” scenario comes from work conducted by Dr Roger Bodman from Victoria University, with Professors David Karoly and Peter Rayner from the University of …

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“Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

Great quote - sums up a lot of things, not only climate change. Might use it on a slide the next time I have to present a project plan.

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Re: “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

Briliant quote, will be used by me too when writing my next business case...

In the meantime we shoukd do some thing we can all agree are a good thing.

1. Cut suphur dioxide emmissions because acid rain isn't a good thing

2. Cut particulate emmissions because smog is a bad thing

3. Increase the standard of living in the developing world as more prosperous people have fewer babies

4. Provide better healthcare for the developing world so those babies survive

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Yag

Re: “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

<Devil's attorney>

Well, you know... sulphur dioxide actually had some "cooling" effects...

Same goes for the smog.

The last two parts are actually very dangerous, as it may trigger overpopulation woes (demographic transition is not an instant process...)

So it seems that we cannot agree on those either.

</Devil's attorney>

The less overall pollution there is, the better it should be.

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Re: “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

"In the meantime we shoukd do some thing we can all agree are a good thing.

1. Cut suphur dioxide emmissions because acid rain isn't a good thing

2. Cut particulate emmissions because smog is a bad thing

3. Increase the standard of living in the developing world as more prosperous people have fewer babies

4. Provide better healthcare for the developing world so those babies survive"

I agree with Beelzebub's Eggnog that there is a certain amount of The Pub Landlord's wisdom that 'they haven't thought it through'. I Also think were a being incredibly two-faced as we go on about how we 'started the industrial revolution' but seem to fail to admit that it was only by producing toxic gases and materials, by polluting the rivers and land, by enforced poverty and pretty much slavery and by having a large population of readily available replacements for those we killed or got too sick or were maimed that we became The Empire.

We then told the rest of the world that 'this is how it's done' and they went 'Ta for that' and took our advice.

While this was going on the local 'industrial revolution' hit the buffers before the 1950's and we now look down on those who are merely emulating our road to success.

We caused this pile of poo in the first place and are now trying to blame it on others for doing the same.

Hence, 'two -faced'.

Think of all the money spent on cleaning up a small part of the River Lea for the Olympics - how much back slapping went on and then remember why it had to be cleaned up.

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Meh

Re: “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

The last two parts are actually very dangerous, as it may trigger overpopulation woes (demographic transition is not an instant process...)

The problem here is that we're already going balls-out on 4, courtesy of that well-known justification; "Oh noes! Think of the children!", while letting 3 go to hell in a bucket. Hence the rather obvious lack of demographic transition.

The trouble is that starving babies and kids' schools make great wallet-openers for a TV campaign, while infrastructure projects and higher education programmes do not.

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Re: “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

Will it certainly fail, or only probably?

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Boffin

Re: “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

What "rather obvious lack of a demographic transition" would that be then?

TFR is falling in sub-saharan Africa and is already around replacement in Latin America and most of Asia. Brazil is 1.8, for instance, which is well-past transition. What we're getting is the post-transition baby boom, as the last big generation goes through the fertile age.

Non-SSA territories with a TFR over 3: Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Gaza Strip, Iraq, Vanuatu, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Jordan, Papua, Marshalls, Philippines, Guatemala, Belize, Tuvalu, American Samoa, Samoa. There aren't a lot of people in all of those countries combined, and the one big one (Philippines) has a TFR that's falling rapidly.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html

Now, sure, Nigeria has a huge population, and a TFR of 5.31 and a positively vertiginous population pyramid, but that's very unusual.

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Re: “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

We in the uk are in the upswing part of the baby boom cycle (you can see the ripples down the years from the post ww2 baby boom)

The key thing we have to do is increase the SOL for the less developed countries whilst also avoiding the mistakes we made in the industrial revolution. We cannot turn to people.and say they can't have the SOL thatbwe have because of the environment al damage, we hav to find a way around it.

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Re: “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

"by enforced poverty and pretty much slavery"

Somehow I thought that there was much more slavery in the past.

In my country the standard of living has improved dramatically thanks to the industrial revolution. Is your country different?

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Re: “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy,"

Will it certainly fail, or only probably?

"Waiting for certainty is a stochastic process that converges asymptotically on failure."

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Is "nearly certain" somewhere between a "strong maybe" and a "we think so"? The "climate scientists" don't have enough real data points and don't even understand all the elements and variables yet. It is just as easy to use the data that leads these people to believe in their guess, to say civilization thrives during warm periods and suffers during cold periods. Here is another theory: plants eat CO2 and it spurs growth, so the planet could be more green in 2100 and consume more CO2, because of the extra foliage, while human production of C02 stabilized decades earlier. There is no tax to collect, so my theory is not actionable to feed governments, in their minds.

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Re: higher temperatures

Been reading a very interesting book about the last ice age and the melting of the ice caps, and warmer temperatures/smaller ice caps led, around 9,000BC, to early sedentism amongst hunter-gatherers of the middle east. The ME at that time had much higher rainfall and was more suitable for agriculture than it is now.

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Pretty damn certain

>The "climate scientists" don't have enough real data points and don't even understand all the elements and variables yet.

It's pretty damn certain they understand them a damn sight better than you do. The "climate scientists" scare quotes are a dead giveaway.

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Anonymous Coward

Bla bla bla

The Sky is falling (again)

Still, no "worse than we thought" this time...

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Pint

If you want a stable climate

If you want a stable climate then you could do worse than the Jurassic when atmospheric CO2 was over 1900 ppm and the Earth's climate was fairly stable for 60 million years. Unlike now when we dip into ice age climates for 150,000 years of every 165,000 - wiping out vast swaths of species including man on a regular schedule, glaciers sweeping the evidence into the sea. Strangely enough estimates have temps in the Jurassic period only 3C above current levels. Something tells me the archaeologists haven't been talking to the climate wizards because their numbers don't align.

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Re: If you want a stable climate

"Strangely enough estimates have temps in the Jurassic period only 3C above current levels. Something tells me the archaeologists haven't been talking to the climate wizards because their numbers don't align."

Not this shit again. When are you tards going to learn to factor in the fainter Sun back then?

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Go

Well done for *identifying* these single points of uncertainty.

Now could be get on and start doing something about them in terms of effectively modelling them?

BTW weren't people saying it was going to be a 2 deg average rise by 2050, or have I mis-remembered?

Not quite worth a thumbs up as no new data or better model yet.

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Solution to global warming is easy

All that is required is to create an economic system that does allows the Rich to remain rich without the requirement of a continually expanding society ( ie Bye Bye Capitalism).

Imagine the impact on the environment of the world population was reduced to 2 Billion within the next 50 years.

We honestly do not need to expand eternally and we don't need to deploy drastic solutions to reduce the populations, we simply need to educate people and ensure that every remains fed. The chinese "one baby" solution is not such a bad idea if only it could be done in a manner which avoids system abuse .

The real pollution is the quantitiy of "Human Beings" on the earth. Scientists and politicians need to stop looking anywhere else. We are eating up and using/abusing all of the earths natural resources at an alarming rate, what else did anyone expect as an outcome.

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Re: Solution to global warming is easy

your plan is to kill everyone? you 1st mate

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Re: Solution to global warming is easy

It sounds bad when you phrase it like that, but fundamentally we either resource limit ourselves or external constraints will do it for us. Few people using lots of stuff, gazillions of people killing each other over limited stuff, or nature killing people via the absence of stuff.

Its the elephant in the room no one discusses.

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Re: Solution to global warming is easy

... and we're already doing it. Everywhere except sub-saharan Africa. Hell, Latin America has a sub-replacement TFR. Sure, there's a baby boom going on because the biggest generation are having their 1.8 kids right now, but go and look at Brazil's population pyramid - their biggest 5-year group is 25-29.

Even India's peak generation is 10-14. So is Indonesia's.

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Re: Solution to global warming is easy

The argument that there is a hard limit on resources, and therefore we should stop expansion in a controlled fashion before it stops abruptly on its own, is very popular these days.

The problem with this argument is that it's a non sequitur: while it is technically true that resources are limited, this isn't sufficient to state that we need to stop expansion now.

You would also need to prove that we're close to the limit. That's a lot harder, but without that the argument doesn't prove anything.

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Re: Solution to global warming is easy

Except that expansion is not mandatory in the first place. What is the point of 12 billion humans compared to 10 billion - what does that acheive *except* stressing resources?

It may be that we are not at that point, it may be that technology can push the point out farther, but why rush to find that point, where inevitably human suffering will occur - if indeed it is not already?

We're supposed to be intelligent not a virus.

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Re: we either resource limit ourselves

Malthus is long dead. That long disproven piece of tripe should have died with him.

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Re: What is the point of 12 billion humans compared to 10 billion

Well, I count that as 2 billion more of the most precious and productive resource we have: human beings who come up with creative solutions to problems.

Something all the Malthusians wannabes ignore the same way he did.

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Re: Solution to global warming is easy

"your plan is to kill everyone?"

Yeah, that was exactly what he was saying.

A few ideas, from the top of my head:

1) hand out free condoms in continents where the population is dense and the standard of living is low

2) educate people (same places as above)

3) improved contraceptives

4) reduce government subsidies for child #2 (In Norway you get a hefty sum of money for each kid produced -- stop it!)

etc...

I don't know about you, but where I live the cities are crowded enough already. There is absolutely no need for bigger cities or more cities. None.

Besides, more people means more consumers and more impact on the environment. If CAGW is real (I personally disagree and have been praying for a warmer climate ever since my birth) then adding more humans to the mix surely cannot help (quite the opposite I'd imagine).

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Re: we either resource limit ourselves

Malthus was right as will be proven eventually. He underestimated our ability to discover new ways to grow food. Ultimately he cannot be wrong because it is a truism that we can outgrow our planet. Like bacteria in a dish we will eventually exhaust the energy available in the dish and die - unless we escape the dish.

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Mushroom

Where exactly is the warming happening?

A global average rise of 2 degrees by 2100 is fairly meaningless.

Here in the UK its unseasonaly cold, wet and grim, in Europe its snowing in the mountains and the overall melt is delayed.

This all flies in the face of the doom merchants predictions that we will boil in our own juices unless we build windmills.

Global averages are meaningless what we need are more precise local estimates.

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Boffin

Re: Where exactly is the warming happening?

Mostly it is happening in rather clumsy simplistic computer models that fail to take into account about 80% of the relevant factors.

Back here in the real world, the natural thermostats that keep the climate more or less constant over the millennia seem to have kicked in to provide lots of cooling cloud and ice formations that will reflect the incident sunlight back into space before any CO2 has a chance to do its thing.

The exercise is left to the reader to establish whether a 1% change in global coud cover has more or less impact than a doubling of CO2 concentration.

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Re: Where exactly is the warming happening?

In short bursts and sometimes prolonged periods in America, Australia, Africa, Middle East, India and Indonesia et al. Some parts of the globe will experience more heat generally and reduced rainfall whilst we will experience the reverse. Then throw in some short periods of the opposite in each case. It all needs to balance out in the end, but the 'middle ground' is getting smaller. If global warming means a continued decline in the strength of the North Atlantic Conveyor our (UK) weather will continue to be much wetter and colder than it is now. Add to this the shift(s) in our local bit of the jet stream, which have played the biggest part in altering our rainfall / weather patterns over the past 10 years, and quadruple glazing specialists will be all the rage, as well as flood-risk managers. We are likely to see short heat waves, rather extreme in nature, as well. It's all rather bizarre and perhaps counter intuitive but in all likelihood that's what is in store for UK and northern Europe. I don't give a toss whose data set is cobbled together from what kind of readings, or how much anthropological input has played a part, we are all heading for some rather radical changes. Globally, farming and fishing, ecological systems and bio-diversity will all alter because of this. How much this will precipitate a decline in human population is difficult to say, but globally, and gradually, there will be millions of peeps in migration-mode that's for sure. So 'April' showers in May / June don't seem quite so bad right now do they. Everywhere the 'squeezed middle' is in decline, be it in terms of wealth, health, politics, climate or conflict, extremes are growing in strength. That is all.

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Re: Where exactly is the warming happening?

"Back here in the real world, the natural thermostats that keep the climate more or less constant over the millennia seem to have kicked in to provide lots of cooling cloud and ice formations that will reflect the incident sunlight back into space before any CO2 has a chance to do its thing."

That's not the real world - that sounds more like your imagination. There is regulation, but not the simplistic scenario you've just outlined. As far as current data suggests, there is a net increase in globally retained energy (see e.g. satellite data, ocean temperature data). Is it accumulating at an imminently catastrophic rate ? No, that certainly doesn't seem to be the case. Is is cause for concern ? Well some folk think so, and some don't.... personally I prefer to be aware of possible outcomes and attendant likely-hoods, but i'm not building a concrete bunker in a boat at the top of a mountain.

Personally I find people who stick their fingers in their ears and shout 'La la la - the world will prevent anything bad happening - we poor humans can't possibly effect it" almost as irritating as the politicians stoking the fires for personal gain, or the business helping them for their own agendas. Getting taxed to the hilt to spend it on stupid plans like using wind power for base loads is helping no-one, quite the opposite, ignoring evidence as it comes in is hardly a good plan either though.

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Meh

Re: Where exactly is the warming happening?

Of course you can't use single data points as arguments for or against climate change. Just as a single record sea ice retreat can't be used, a single bad winter can't be used. However you can use multiple record sea ice retreats in a decade or two, and you could use multiple unusually cold winters (not explained by other things, e.g., volcanoes) as well.

In general, climate change is meant to make the UK wetter - not everywhere gets hotter. Indeed many places will get colder because of shifting climates.

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Anonymous Coward

For those in the UK

"Dr Bodman emphasises that predictions with less uncertainty still don't count as “certain”. “Waiting for certainty will fail as a strategy," he said. "Some uncertainty will always remain, meaning that we need to manage the risks"

There is your justification for the iraq war. The possible danger which we know nothing about and dont understand will result in our doom if we dont do something about it now and find out the truth later. So where else shall we invade? We can selectively choose evidence (if only 1 official hates us and the others love us we will quote only that 1) and mitigate all threats now.

Or we can choose a religion and deem it the truth because we dont know any better but on available evidence and lack of knowledge we can disregard knowing and go with belief.

Exciting times. I wonder if this is how the dark ages started. I hope there will be a good place left on earth for those who want fact and truth.

For the nutters and believers who are about to downvote (and probably have nothing to say) I am aware that some uncertainty always remains in scientific theory, but that is not the current state of our understanding of climate. Our understanding is much closer to WTF, it aint doing what we expected. This is good, this means we are learning. But we cant claim to know the outcome of something we dont even understand the basics of. We certainly cant blame co2 exclusively with 63% uncertainty surrounding the carbon cycle.

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bep

Straw man made of straw

That's your post-war justification for the war. The pre-war justification was that there was evidence of real and imminent threat. This turned out not to be the case, because the 'evidence' turned out to be scanty and from very few sources. That is not the case with the study of global climate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Straw man made of straw

@bep:

Not at all. We were told in no uncertain terms that we needed to stop the imminent threat of saddam husain. A real guy in existence at the time with visible and measurable actions. Yet the claim was bogus by a load of people who wanted to see something and so saw it. The conclusion was drawn first. Even various agencies argued the 'evidence/informants' were unreliable.

The study of MMCC is done in the same way. Real workers and real scientists look for facts. Those facts exist and they seek to understand them. Then there is the the entire MMCC debate which is the diviners of truth from chicken bones who think they already have the answer and dont need to wait for fiddly things like facts. So when a fact pops up one side jumps up and says 'see see'. Both certain of a truth that nobody yet knows. The danger is the group looking to inflict the most damage (not imaginary damage) and so the MMCC nutters are the problem. They are a danger.

And this article clearly states that not knowing is fine, the answer is obvious, its *insert desired deity or cause* causing the problem. Even if we know so little that we cannot predict anything nor understand it.

Again this is a wonderful approach which doesnt let fact and reality get in the way of a poor justification.

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JDX
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So now we have to wait a century?

It's still "certainly" 2 degrees but now it will happen after we're all too dead to verify this, rather than last Thursday as was originally claimed?

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Can I have my money back now please?

Seriously, can we now at last admit the science was not "settled" and start removing the subsidy driven green Taliban from public expenditure and domestic energy bills. I'll wait for my rebate.

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Re: Can I have my money back now please?

Looks like it was settled to me. Humans, not nature, are driving global temperature changes. They are not saying 2C by 2100 because of the Sun. They are saying humans. It's nice to see climate skeptics finally accepting this.

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JDX
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Re: Can I have my money back now please?

2 degrees would be quite nice in the UK. But it's not happening until after virtually everyone reading this will be long dead.

So now politicians have to keep everyone convinced that in the midst of recessions, it's better to spend trillions on something that will not benefit them or (in most cases) their children rather than helping them put food on the table.

I wonder if the pendulum of mass support for environmentalism will swing the other way in the next few years.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can I have my money back now please?

@JDX:

"I wonder if the pendulum of mass support for environmentalism will swing the other way in the next few years."

I seriously hope not. I am on the fence about the MM bit of CC and dont believe we know enough to do anything with confidence yet. But I have seen the word science abused to criminal proportions and been told the world is going to end based on many deadlines we have shot past.

As a result there is less trust in 'scientific' discovery and much less faith in what a scientist can claim to know. Real threats could be ignored because of this abuse and what is worse is that MMCC could potentially be true, but by the time we have real factual evidence everyone would expect it to be the same scam with the same sham.

Not forgetting that the money and resources wasted on fixing what we dont have a clue about cannot be reclaimed to deal with real problems, real pollution and real solutions. And yet with no clue we are told we need to do something now.

All the MMCC debate has done is damage reputations and rob the people. We have been robbed of truth, fact and wealth.

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Re: Can I have my money back now please?

Where I the article does it say this? The article makes no reference to humans and indeed any cause of warming, only the problems in forecasting.

I think you may me reading your own personal opinion into the piece.

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Re: Can I have my money back now please?

The article doesn't need to make reference to it. The warming forecast is due to human emissions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can I have my money back now please?

"Looks like it was settled to me."

If you only look to the left you will never see the right. Considering the comments on here that line really does make me laugh.

"Humans, not nature, are driving global temperature changes. They are not saying 2C by 2100 because of the Sun. They are saying humans. It's nice to see climate skeptics finally accepting this."

Who is saying humans? You do. The IPCC does. In fact everyone in the religion does. But step outside your religion and look to the world and you see it is not settled. Some of us are still waiting for proof that it isnt the natural trend.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can I have my money back now please?

"The article doesn't need to make reference to it. The warming forecast is due to human emissions."

So you have written so it shall be. We worship you oh deity. Please dont smite us with your copious gasses.

Back in the real world...

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Re: Can I have my money back now please?

"2 degrees would be quite nice in the UK."

Not necessarily, it depends on how the 2 degrees is distributed globally. In a warmer world we might find the Jet Stream switches to be almost always South of the UK leaving the UK with almost permanent wet summers.

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Re: Can I have my money back now please?

"Who is saying humans?"

Anyone who is accepting the study behind this article is, ie the people claiming "can I have my money back now please". Because that's what the study says - that humans are causing the warming.

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Re: Can I have my money back now please?

There seems to be some confusion.

If you DONT accept this study which says humans will very likely cause about 2C warming by 2100, then you have no reason to think anything has changed.

You can't say "Can I have my money back now please?" as if this new information is game changing if you don't actually accept what the study says!

Of course climate skeptics do want to have their cake and eat it too!

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Re: Can I have my money back now please?

Jetstream has sweet FA to do with global warming

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Re: Can I have my money back now please?

We were told in no uncertain terms that the forecasts were for at least 6 degrees of warming due to man made CO2 emission, now it’s revised to 2 degrees by 2100. Why? Because the estimates for climate sensitivity were over calculated, this then fuelled a political green assault on taxpayers. The current literature is dialling back on the propertied climate sensitivity figure as observational data (not the Mickey Mouse modelled output) comes in. For years a small number of people have had valid concerns that CO2 sensitivity was not right and been shouted down or marginalised, we have even had people calling for “deniers” to face war crimes style Nuremberg courts or our children blown up ala 10:10. This report is a climb down and an attempt to keep the gravy train going with 2 degrees being the new scary doomsday figure.

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