“Expectations for a new climate agreement” (Jacoby, Chen, MIT, 2014)


Professors Jacoby and Chen have issued a report as part of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change which handicaps the outcomes of the negotiations which, by international agreement, need to take place in 2015 to put the world on a course to contain global warming. While they are not pessimistic, emphasizing that progress will probably be made, they are also realistic regarding what will be agreed and, most importantly, how far from what’s necessary governments are likely to agree and then implement. For example, Kyoto targets were not met.
EmissionsAndTheIPCCWindow
(Click image for larger picture.)
They also (to me) introduce MAGICC, a simplified climate model, not as accurate as CMIP5, but more transparent in its projections.
ProjectionsBasedUponEmissions
(Click image for larger picture.)
MAGICC is more complicated than the pen-and-paper-and-simply-Python models which Professor Pierrehumbert offers in conjunction with his textbook and course and are necessarily very transparent, but, in MAGICC’s developers’ words:

MAGICC consists of a suite of coupled gas-cycle, climate and ice-melt models integrated into a single software package. The software allows the user to determine changes in greenhouse-gas concentrations, global-mean surface air temperature, and sea level resulting from anthropogenic emissions.

From my perspective, what the problem is that countries and people are talking about “progress” and “lowering emissions” when they actually need to be talking about a program and a path towards eliminating them. No doubt that will take a long time. Because it will, any delays do not make any sense. I suspect government leaders are waiting for major events tied to climate to give them political cover to do something severe. But, as the graphs show and as is well known, unless they also want to buy into capture and removal of carbon dioxide from free atmosphere, those effects will keep on coming. Professor John Englander estimates we’ve bought into 65 feel of sea level rise already, even if that will take centuries to fully manifest.

See the related “A Zero Emissions Manifesto for the Climate Justice Movement“, by Tom Weis and Reverend Lennox Yearwood. I agree: Two degrees Celsius is the wrong target.

About hypergeometric

See http://www.linkedin.com/in/deepdevelopment/ and http://667-per-cm.net
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One Response to “Expectations for a new climate agreement” (Jacoby, Chen, MIT, 2014)

  1. Pingback: "Expectations for a new climate agreement" (Jacoby, Chen, MIT, 2014) | Gaia Gazette

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