The road to zero emissions is strewn with “alternative facts”
Once again, the hopes of billions have been raised, only to be dashed, this time by the cruel joke of COP26, the reality being that “By 2030, governments are planning to extract 110% more fossil fuels than their Paris Agreement pledge to
limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels would permit”.
- The United Nations upper global temperature target of 1.5°C takes no account of the fact that, without the transient short-lived aerosols effect of
over 0.5 to 1.0 Watt/m⁻², the mean global heating is nearing ~2.0°C.
- It is the cumulative concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which controls temperatures, triggering feedbacks from land and oceans, and which has reached a high level of combined CO₂+CH₄+N₂O of >500 ppm CO₂-equivalent. Only sequestration / drawdown from this level may be able to lower terrestrial temperatures.
- Polar temperature changes are critical: The Arctic temperature anomaly reached 3°C above 1981-2010 in 2016 and the increasing similarity between polar and northern latitude temperatures leads to weakening of the jet stream boundary effect,
allowing cold and warm air masses to cross the boundary.
- The tropical climate zone is expanding and Mediterranean climate zone,
where much of the world’s crops are grown, is shrinking and shifting toward the poles.
- As the polar ice sheets are melting sea levels are rising, initially on the scale of inches and subsequently toward as equilibrium with Pliocene-like temperatures equivalent to a sea level rise of ~25 meters, flooding extensive coastal zones and delta where billions live and grow food.
A 2014 analysis by Katherine Keil concluded that fossil fuels like they exist in the Arctic are expected to continue supplying much of the energy used worldwide.