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Author Topic: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible  (Read 6564 times)

Apocalypse4Real

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2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« on: June 04, 2013, 04:29:50 PM »
The US government and now a German think tank have come out with statments that the 2C global warming target is not likely going to be met - or even workable, similar to the previous World Bank report on avoiding a 4C world.

The US made this statement in regard to its policy in 2012. Now Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik German Institute for International and Security Affairs, has proposed the same.

The US statements were made by Todd Stern, US Special Envoy on Climate Change at Dartmouth College in August, 2012. See:
http://www.state.gov/e/oes/rls/remarks/2012/196004.htm

The German SWP report is about as blunt. For an article on the issue, see:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-02/climate-envoys-urged-to-draft-plan-b-on-failure-of-global-target.html

For the SWP report, see: http://www.swp-berlin.org/fileadmin/contents/products/research_papers/2013_RP05_gdn.pdf

The World Bank report can be found at:
http://climatechange.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/Turn_Down_the_heat_Why_a_4_degree_centrigrade_warmer_world_must_be_avoided.pdf

The IEA World Energy Outlook provides the assumptions on energy consumption which will drive the GHG increases. In the Executive Summary, page 25 provides the brief perspective. See: http://www.sc-eco.univ-nantes.fr/~tvallee/memoire/salazar/World%20Energy%20Outlook%202012.pdf

wili

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 05:10:59 AM »
Along similar lines:

(Thanks to Graeme at POForums for these links.)

“Allowable carbon emissions lowered by multiple climate targets”

Quote
So far, international climate targets have been restricted to limiting the increase in temperature. But if we are to stop the rising sea levels, ocean acidification and the loss of production from agriculture, CO2 emissions will have to fall even more sharply. This is demonstrated by a study published in Nature that has been carried out at the University of Bern.

This is why Dr. Marco Steinacher, Prof. Fortunat Joos and Prof. Thomas Stocker are proposing a combination of six different specific global and regional climate targets (Figure 1) in their work, which has just been published in the “Nature” journal.

And the researchers ask the crucial question of what would be required in order for all of the climate targets to be met. Their unambiguous answer is that CO2 emissions have to be lowered even more radically than provided for by the two-degree target (Figure 2). “When we consider all targets jointly, CO2 emissions have to be cut by twice as much than if we only want to meet the two-degree target”, explains Steinacher.

The objective of limiting ocean acidification proved particularly challenging and is achievable only through a massive reduction in the emissions of CO2.

http://phys.org/news/2013-07-limiting-global.html

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12269.html
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Shared Humanity

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2013, 06:14:07 PM »
We do not want to live in a 4C to 6C warmer world. We cannot reasonably expect anything other than this.  :-[

Bruce Steele

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 06:35:09 PM »
So despite the dwindling probability that the 80-95% reduction goals  ( compared to 1990 emissions ) can be met there may be reasons to make the 2 degrees C goal even more restrictive?
A quote from the SWP  piece linked above..  " For national governments that have assumed a leading role in the global climate regime,such as those in Europe, is it not realistic to continue to pursue goals that are patently unrealistic or to work on obviously unsolvable problems. ".   

Quite the quandary. Modify the science goals or relax  them.  Modify them to adjust to new scientific findings or relax them for political expedience .  We can argue over whether the 2 degree goal was science to start with but at least it's a measurable goal.  Moving the goal posts is a policy question but I would argue we leave them , maybe to mark our collective failure, but an acknowledgement we knew we had limits. 

Some of us still need to pursue a zero fossil fuel goal. Something closer to perfection . Policy and practicality be damned. Or maybe policy and practicality by the damned.   

jonthed

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2013, 04:22:23 PM »
Even the reductions touted to remain below 2C were only a 50/50 chance anyway (and I always thought that was highly optimistic) and we're not even getting anywhere close to that!!

Seriously. Gambling our whole future on coin-toss odds is bad enough, but then not even trying to get those odds! Unbelievable.

With all the mutually reinforcing feedbacks likely to start weighing in (ice-melt, albedo change, permafrost thaw, aerosol reduction) on temperature and sea level rise, and with all the negatives only exacerbating the effects on humans and nature (floods, droughts, extreme weather, resource scarcity, bio-diversity decline, deforestation, desertification, habitat loss, diseases) we need to be acting as if our lives depended on it.

We need the new IPCC report as soon as possible and it needs to put simple odds on the temperature increases that are possible, and a clear picture of what each of them would mean, and a clear emissions path for what is needed to have a good chance of achieving each of them, and I don't mean 50/50.


pikaia

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2013, 04:50:18 PM »
The best estimate is that the sensitivity to CO2 is between 2 and 4.5 C. CO2 has already increased by over 40%, ie half a doubling, so if we stopped producing CO2 tomorrow then the eventual increase would probably be 1 to 2.25C, which means that 2C might already be unavoidable. But CO2 levels are still increasing, at over 2ppm per year and increasing, so there is still a long way to go.

i agree that the figure of 2 degrees is rather silly, as nothing suddenly happens as we go from 1.999 to 2.000C!

Superman1

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2013, 07:17:08 PM »
According to Wili's reference

"“When we consider all targets jointly, CO2 emissions have to be cut by twice as much than if we only want to meet the two-degree target”, explains Steinacher.

The objective of limiting ocean acidification proved particularly challenging and is achievable only through a massive reduction in the emissions of CO2." 

This means that e.g. Kevin Anderson's estimate of 10% global CO2 emissions reduction/annum for decades to achieve 2 C ceiling has to be doubled to 20%/annum.  Various studies have shown a strong relation between CO2 emissions and GDP (e.g., http://visual.ly/growth-global-gdp-and-energy-related-co2-emissions), with the ratio varying slightly among studies.  With a 70% linkage, this means that, globally, we would have to reduce GDP ~15%/annum if we wanted to achieve CO2 emissions reductions on the order of 20%/annum.  The advanced nations would probably have to agree to more than 20%, and the developing nations to less than 20%.  So, which USA Presidential candidate will go into the debates proposing a reduction of GDP by 15-20% for decades to come?  And, isn't that really one of the two central problems we have in effectively combatting climate change, the other being the reluctance of the average voter to give up the good life' enabled by the unlimited availability of cheap fossil fuels?

ritter

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 07:12:07 PM »
According to Wili's reference

"“When we consider all targets jointly, CO2 emissions have to be cut by twice as much than if we only want to meet the two-degree target”, explains Steinacher.

The objective of limiting ocean acidification proved particularly challenging and is achievable only through a massive reduction in the emissions of CO2." 

This means that e.g. Kevin Anderson's estimate of 10% global CO2 emissions reduction/annum for decades to achieve 2 C ceiling has to be doubled to 20%/annum.  Various studies have shown a strong relation between CO2 emissions and GDP (e.g., http://visual.ly/growth-global-gdp-and-energy-related-co2-emissions), with the ratio varying slightly among studies.  With a 70% linkage, this means that, globally, we would have to reduce GDP ~15%/annum if we wanted to achieve CO2 emissions reductions on the order of 20%/annum.  The advanced nations would probably have to agree to more than 20%, and the developing nations to less than 20%.  So, which USA Presidential candidate will go into the debates proposing a reduction of GDP by 15-20% for decades to come?  And, isn't that really one of the two central problems we have in effectively combatting climate change, the other being the reluctance of the average voter to give up the good life' enabled by the unlimited availability of cheap fossil fuels?

Precisely why I don't believe anything meaningful will be done to slow down the train wreck.

Nightvid Cole

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2013, 11:52:12 PM »
According to Wili's reference

"“When we consider all targets jointly, CO2 emissions have to be cut by twice as much than if we only want to meet the two-degree target”, explains Steinacher.

The objective of limiting ocean acidification proved particularly challenging and is achievable only through a massive reduction in the emissions of CO2." 

This means that e.g. Kevin Anderson's estimate of 10% global CO2 emissions reduction/annum for decades to achieve 2 C ceiling has to be doubled to 20%/annum.  Various studies have shown a strong relation between CO2 emissions and GDP (e.g., http://visual.ly/growth-global-gdp-and-energy-related-co2-emissions), with the ratio varying slightly among studies.  With a 70% linkage, this means that, globally, we would have to reduce GDP ~15%/annum if we wanted to achieve CO2 emissions reductions on the order of 20%/annum.  The advanced nations would probably have to agree to more than 20%, and the developing nations to less than 20%.  So, which USA Presidential candidate will go into the debates proposing a reduction of GDP by 15-20% for decades to come?  And, isn't that really one of the two central problems we have in effectively combatting climate change, the other being the reluctance of the average voter to give up the good life' enabled by the unlimited availability of cheap fossil fuels?

This only tells us that, perhaps, intentionally causing global economic collapse is not the wisest way to reduce emissions.

It does not say that it is impossible to reduce emissions without sacrificing GDP, only that it has not yet occurred. There is a big difference between the two!

We need a whole lot more public funding, worldwide, to go toward renewable energy R&D and implementation.

And gradually increasing costs of fossil fuels. (If gas were $30 a gallon, who in their right mind would choose to live 25 miles from work?) If done right, the carbon taxes can produce the revenue to support the renewables. The problem is not a lack of solutions which are technologically possible, nor a lack of solutions which are economically possible, but a lack of solutions which are politically possible. Yes, we need scientists and yes, we need economists, but right now the limiting factor is unambiguously politics.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 12:04:29 AM by Nightvid Cole »

Anne

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2013, 01:10:45 AM »
If gas were $30 a gallon, who in their right mind would choose to live 25 miles from work?
If only it were that simple. One third of the UK is already off-limits for low-income families.

ivica

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2013, 01:34:39 AM »
If gas were $30 a gallon, who in their right mind would choose to live 25 miles from work?
If only it were that simple. One third of the UK is already off-limits for low-income families.
Try to imagine how many people from Med Zone have trouble filling car with gas for 10 EUR.
On 2nd thought, don't (imagine that).

Anne

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2013, 01:45:44 AM »
If gas were $30 a gallon, who in their right mind would choose to live 25 miles from work?
If only it were that simple. One third of the UK is already off-limits for low-income families.
Try to imagine how many people from Med Zone have trouble filling car with gas for 10 EUR.
On 2nd thought, don't (imagine that).
Exactly. There are powerful economic and political forces already at work (which may or may not be related to AGW). Not just in the Med zone, either. Does any single government have the ability to do much other than make things worse? Does the EU? The World Bank? 

ivica

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2013, 02:02:29 AM »
If gas were $30 a gallon, who in their right mind would choose to live 25 miles from work?
If only it were that simple. One third of the UK is already off-limits for low-income families.
Try to imagine how many people from Med Zone have trouble filling car with gas for 10 EUR.
On 2nd thought, don't (imagine that).
Exactly. There are powerful economic and political forces already at work (which may or may not be related to AGW). Not just in the Med zone, either. Does any single government have the ability to do much other than make things worse? Does the EU? The World Bank?
Hello, sis. I could answer about my gov but they are not worth of our time.

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: 2 C Target No Longer Workable or Possible
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2013, 09:19:46 PM »
UN climate change deal “may not be feasible” by 2015
Last updated on 23 July 2013, 2:51 pm 23 July 2013

The 2015 UN climate summit in Paris could mark start of process to develop a global emissions treaty rather than end -

See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2013/07/23/un-climate-change-deal-may-not-be-feasible-by-2015/#sthash.QZbaoB8g.dpuf