Folks, this news makes me feel like goin out to burn gas …. driving around with the top down …. whooping and waving a cowboy hat. Yeehaw!
World on track for 6 degree warming, says report
The world is on track to increase average temperatures by six degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2100 – three times the target limit set by governments at last year’s Bali summit, the International Energy Agency reports.
In its annual World Energy Outlook 2008, released in London last night, the IEA warns that the world now faces an "immense" challenge to hold global warming to two degrees above pre-industrial levels, the goal it set in Bali.
The pace of growth in China, India and other developing countries is set to increase energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions much faster than any action by Western countries could reduce them.
The IEA is the energy counterpart of the OECD, a Paris-based think tank funded by Western governments, including Australia, to advise on energy demand, supply, technologies and policy issues. Its advice is seen as authoritative.
Bad news? You could say that.
Here’s how Mark Lynas put it:
+4.4°: Melting ice caps displace millions
Rapidly-rising temperatures in the Arctic put Siberian permafrost in the melt zone, releasing vast quantities of methane and CO2. Global temperatures keep on rising rapidly in consequence. Melting ice-caps and sea level rises displace more than 100 million people, particularly in Bangladesh, the Nile Delta and Shanghai. Heatwaves and drought make much of the sub-tropics uninhabitable: large-scale migration even takes place within Europe, where deserts are growing in southern Spain, Italy and Greece. More than half of wild species are wiped out, in the worst mass extinction since the end of the dinosaurs. Agriculture collapses in Australia
+5.4°: Sea levels rise by five metres
The West Antarctic ice sheet breaks up, eventually adding another five metres to global sea levels. If these temperatures are sustained, the entire planet will become ice-free, and sea levels will be 70 metres higher than today. South Asian society collapses due to the disappearance of glaciers in the Himalayas, drying up the Indus river, while in east India and Bangladesh, monsoon floods threaten millions. Super-El Niños spark global weather chaos. Most of humanity begins to seek refuge away from higher temperatures closer to the poles. Tens of millions of refugees force their way into Scandanavia and the British Isles. World food supplies run out
+6.4°: Most of life is exterminated
Warming seas lead to the possible release of methane hydrates trapped in sub-oceanic sediments: methane fireballs tear across the sky, causing further warming. The oceans lose their oxygen and turn stagnant, releasing poisonous hydrogen sulphide gas and destroying the ozone layer. Deserts extend almost to the Arctic. "Hypercanes" (hurricanes of unimaginable ferocity) circumnavigate the globe, causing flash floods which strip the land of soil. Humanity reduced to a few survivors eking out a living in polar refuges. Most of life on Earth has been snuffed out, as temperatures rise higher than for hundreds of millions of years.
If there is one episode in the Earth’s history that we should try above all not to repeat, it is surely the catastrophe that befell the planet at the end of the Permian period, 251 million years ago. By the end of this calamity, up to 95% of species were extinct. The end-Permian wipeout is the nearest this planet has ever come to becoming just another lifeless rock drifting through space. The precise cause remains unclear, but what is undeniable is that the end-Permian mass extinction was associated with a super-greenhouse event. Oxygen isotopes in rocks dating from the time suggest that temperatures rose by six degrees…..
Sedimentary layers show that most of the world’s plant cover was removed in a catastrophic bout of soil erosion. Rocks also show a "fungal spike" as plants and animals rotted in situ. Still more corpses were washed into the oceans, helping to turn them stagnant and anoxic.
Six degrees of warming by 2100.
Just one question: What madman signed us up for this suicide menu?