Climate catastrophe hitting the tropics now/soon, and is on the way for other areas. We need to halve carbon emissions every decade.

Back in 2013 Eric Zuesse wrote in a Huffington Post article, Climate Catastrophe Will Hit Tropics Around 2020, Rest Of World Around 2047, Study Says.  Further down, see a plan for halving carbon emissions every decade

Nature shares with Science and PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) the distinction of being tied as the world’s three most prestigious scientific journals, and an article is not published in these journals unless it has undergone extremely rigorous scientific peer-revue; so, climate-change deniers will have no professional credibility in attacking this study, as the Koch brothers and their friends can reasonably be expected to do, since they profit so much from what causes global warming – the burning of carbon-based fuels.

According to this study, the tropics, which are the near-equatorial region of this planet that’s almost 100% impoverished, and that has thus contributed virtually nothing to global warming, will begin the period of permanent catastrophe starting in approximately 2020; but the (cooler) moderate-latitude countries, such as in North America and Europe, will begin this catastrophic period in or around 2047.

This isn’t to say that things won’t continue to get worse after then; it’s only to say that this is, as the article will be titled, “The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability.”

This landmark article was co-authored by a team of 14 climate-scientists. It says: “Unprecedented climates will occur earliest in the tropics and among low-income countries.” It explains that the reason for this is that the countries near the equator have far less variability in their weather than do the moderate-climate countries, and so the species that constitute the ecosystems there cannot tolerate temperatures outside their narrow range, which has existed within that narrow range for thousands of years. Consequently, species-extinctions will soar there much faster and earlier than here. The existing impoverished economies, within around 2,500 miles of the equator (where average per-capita incomes are less than 10% of the average in the moderate-latitude countries such as ours), will become unlivable.

This study notes the “obvious disparity between those who benefit from the process leading to climate change and those who will have to pay for most of the environmental and social costs.” Of course, “those who benefit from the process leading to climate change” are the oil companies, and the coal companies, and the natural gas companies, and the pipeline and service companies, and ultimately their owners: especially the aristocratic families who control them. It would be false to assume that any poor people, even in countries such as the United States, will benefit from continuation of “the process leading to climate change.” However, some of the chief financial backers of the Republican Party and of other conservative political parties in the moderate-latitude countries benefit enormously from that “process.” Thus, many people who will not benefit from climate change end up voting for climate change; and, of course, their children and subsequent descendants will suffer greatly from their votes.

A previous article I wrote reports further on this problem of greater danger for the equatorial countries. Another reports on a study in Science showing that there is already too much carbon in the atmosphere for life as we have known it to be able to continue on much longer, and that, consequently, there will be sharp increases in human conflict (crimes, wars, etc.) resulting from this carbon build-up in the atmosphere. Another reports on a study in PNAS explaining that though the near-term predictions about the effects of this atmospheric carbon build-up contain far less certainty than do the long-term predictions, there is essentially no question that two thousand years from now, life on this planet will be hellish for everyone, even if the near-term consequences of the atmosphere’s existing carbon overload are far less certain. None of this is science fiction; all of it is science fact, though the Koch brothers and their friends do everything they possibly can to deceive the masses that it’s not true and that the conspiracy to deceive the public is to be found amongst the 97+% of climate scientists who say that global warming is happening and that its chief cause is human atmospheric carbon emissions. Though the numbers of the Kochs suckers might be declining, it’s already too late; the Kochs were successful for far too long to avert disaster now. From now on, efforts to reduce climate-change will be efforts to reduce the extent of the catastrophe, not to prevent the catastrophe.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

A plan to halve carbon emissions every decade, while green energy continues to double every five years, provides a simple but rigorous roadmap to tackle climate change, scientists say

Coal is being unloaded, Haemelerwald power plant, Germany
‘In the last decade, the share of renewables in the energy sector has doubled every 5.5 years. If doubling continues at this pace fossil fuels will exit the energy sector well before 2050.’ Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images 23 March 2017

Damian Carrington, The Guardian 23 March 2017

A new “carbon law”, modelled on Moore’s law in computing, has been proposed as a roadmap for beating climate change. It sees carbon emissions halving every decade, while green energy continues to double every five years.

The carbon law’s proponents are senior climate-change scientists and they argue it provides a simple, broad but quantitative plan that could drive governments and businesses to make urgently needed carbon cuts, particularly at a time when global warming is falling off the global political agenda.

Christiana Figueres, who as the then UN’s climate chief delivered the landmark Paris climate change deal in 2015, said: “The carbon law for keeping us on track with Paris – something we can all follow – is such a valuable contribution at this critical time.”

Moore’s law is the observation that innovation doubles the number of transistors on a computer chip about every two years and it has held true for 50 years. The researchers behind the carbon law say similar laws of exponential growth can already be seen in clean energy.

“We are already at the start of this trajectory. In the last decade, the share of renewables in the energy sector has doubled every 5.5 years. If doubling continues at this pace fossil fuels will exit the energy sector well before 2050,” said Johan Rockström, at Stockholm University in Sweden, the lead author of an article published in the journal Science which sets out the carbon law.

The researchers also set out milestones for each decade, with coal disappearing by 2030, and oil by 2040. “It is both a tale of extreme urgency, reminding the world community of what was agreed [in Paris], and also saying it’s not more difficult than it was establishing Moore’s law in IT which came through investment, innovation and economies of scale,” said Prof John Schellnhuber, at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, another author of the article and who has advised Angela Merkel, the Pope and the EU.

He said the aim of the carbon law was to provide “a really compelling story of how decarbonisation can be achieved”, and to bridge the gap between the pledges made by nations in Paris and what will be needed in the long term to keep global warming well below the danger limit of 2C.

“Short-termism has been a problem for all the 25 years I have been involved in climate negotiations,” Schellnhuber said. “This has exacerbated in 2016 and 2017. The climate issue has disappeared from the radar screens of the international policy makers.”

However, the carbon law shows how global warming can be beaten, said Gareth Redmond-King at WWF: “It’s important to remember that there is genuine hope. This inspiring vision of change reaffirms that we still have time, provided we commit to serious, ambitious and urgent action to control our environmental impact. Every journey, however long and complicated, is easier with a clear map.”

The carbon law and accompanying roadmap sees what the authors call “no-brainer” policies in place by 2020, including ending the huge subsidies enjoyed by fossil fuels, a $50 per tonne price on carbon emissions and a crackdown on energy efficiency.

The 2020s are the most challenging decade on the route to a zero emissions world in 2050, said Schellnhuber, as both coal and polluting vehicles have to be phased out at the same time as new clean technology is developed to be deployed in the 2030s. This could include building on pilot projects already underway, such as developing new materials to replace concrete in buildings, and superconducting electricity grids.

Schellnhuber believes all this is possible, saying India will lead the coal phase-out in favour of solar and that no country will allow new combustion engine cars on the road by 2030: “I talk to the CEOs of big car companies and they know the time of the combustion engine is over, in particular for the diesel engine.”

He said potential solutions already exist across all sectors, but that ambition was needed in every area to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. “What we are saying [in the article] is that if you play your cards right, you win the game – all the jokers and high value cards are in the pack already.”

Prof Chris Rapley, a climate scientist at University College London, said: “The article performs a helpful function by offering a way to re-express the Paris goal in practical terms that defines what those actions would need to achieve, ie halving emissions each decade plus building up capacity to draw down CO2 from the free atmosphere. There are other possibilities, but the idea of a ‘Moore’s Law’ analogue is quite attractive.”

However, Rapley cautioned against scientists being too prescriptive in the policies governments should adopt, which could make it easier for those opposed to climate action to dismiss the analysis. Setting out the scale and pace of carbon cuts needed and then helping various sectors such as energy and transport make their decisions could be more effective, he said.