Postscript, 2nd April 2016
I’ve been asked offline whether I buy McPherson’s catastrophic warming scenario. I don’t, or at least I wouldn’t bet on it. Each of the components of Professor McPherson’s scenario are based upon solid science. But in order to get the outcome he is expecting, they all need to happen together. While there is a common causal link among them, the features which need to happen are the fast rates each being at the high tails of their distributions. Is that possible? Sure, but it’s unlikely.
So, while these possibilities are sobering, and recent evidence suggests things may be moving faster than anticipated, the McPherson scenario seems improbable to me. That does not at all mean everything’s okay. I think we are going to face some surprises, and that’s unfortunate. But 2025-2030 for wholesale change? Nope.
Anyway, I’m not a climate scientist, just a statistician and engineer who is a little familiar with assessing risk.
(Hat tip to Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock of the Week for these interviews below.)