15 May 2018 UN Sec. General says climate change is an 'existential threat' to most life on the planet, including and especially humankind,
VIDEO of the historic statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres This record provides more of the essential evidence of the dire rapidly deteriorating state of the global climate emergency today
At the same time, with not even a reduction of emissions forthcoming, as made clear by the obstructive failure of the 2021 Glasgow UN COP 26 and COP27, this is the evidence of the unprecedented crime against Humanity and Nature, far beyond our 2018 book documenting the unprecedented crime up to that time.
As has been clear for many years, increasing climate change is a threat to the survival of the human race and most life on Earth, and 2°C is the tipping "point of no return"
Global emissions had to be in decline by 2020, to avoid 2°C and to give a slim possibility of the 1.5°C limit.
These scenarios have been pointed out since 2018 in public statements by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.
Yet today the globally disastrous 1.5°C surface warming is less than a decade away (2030/soon after) and, due to various systemic inertias, the planetary catastrophic 2°C will be reached by 2050, with global heating and its impacts continuing long after that. 2020 research finds that temperature stabilization takes decades after mitigation action.
By 2050 or 2°C (unavoidable) global climate change will force 200 million from their homes, and billions of people will be deprived on adequate food and water (IPCC 2018 1.5°C Report chart).
The most important climate science fact of all is that global emissions had to decline immediately and rapidly to avoid a warming of 1.5°C (IPCC Chair 2019), and now to avoid 2°C (IPCC Chair 2021) (since 1.5°C is now out of reach).
For energy, that means that all fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) have to be rapidly and totally replaced by zero-carbon-combustion renewable (endless) energies. Zero carbon combustion means no biomass/wood burning for energy, and no biofuels, which are all net carbon sources (CO2 and methane/CH4).
Nothing can avoid global climate catastrophe without this rapid reduction in emissions -- no other mitigation measures, no adaptation, no CO2 removal, and certainly no artificial cooling of the planet.
Merely stopping further fossil fuel projects, and stopping the increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cannot prevent global catastrophe.
The atmospheric GHG levels and degree of global warming are so high that all gases have to be put into rapid decline, not just CO2 (IPCC 2021).
Mitigation "solutions" can only be appreciated in today's context of globally unprecedented disastrous impacts at a now unavoidable 1.5°C and end-of-the-world feedback runaway global heating, triggered at 2°C (projected by 2050).
Warming is much higher today than in the past 10,000 years of agriculture, higher than in the past 100,000 years, and at 2°C will be higher than in the past million years.
The global climate emergency is now widely recognized and confirmed by science, yet world governments and leading national institutions are failing to take global emergency action or even call for emergency action.
Atmospheric CO2 is responsible for 65% of global heating and 100% of ocean acidification. It lasts in the atmosphere for 300 to 1000 years. Since 1750, atmospheric CO2 has increased almost 50% -- the highest in over 3 million years and its rate of increase 100 times faster than normal end of ice age natural warming. The rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is unprecedented over the past record going back 40 million years (WMO).
All climate system change indicators are increasing as fast as -- and several faster than -- ever, while national government policies reject any effective mitigation as they permit, subsidize and push even more fossil fuel extraction (e.g., COP26). The US EIA October 2021 states that "if current policy and technology trends continue, global energy consumption and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will increase through 2050," projected to increase from 34 billion tonnes/year in 2020 to 43 billion a year in 2050. Today there is no prospect of this changing, and no powerful global movement to make it change.
Without rapid drastic revolutionary change to the world economy, our children "face a bleak future" (worldwide) and "we will be investing in our own extinction" (UN COP26).
It is deplorable All governments have fought the legal pleadings by youth groups for effective mitigation. In most cases the Courts have agreed with evidence, but rejected the claim- (public trust doctrine) saying it was a political, not legal matter. The fossil fuel corporations, banks governments and courts have written off the lives of today's children and all future generations.
In addition to atmospheric greenhouse pollution, is leading to 10 million deaths a year. Current government policies lead to surface heating about 3°C by 2065, and continuing higher after that. Crop yields have long been projected to be in decline for all crops in all regions at 3°C, putting fossil fuel future deaths in the billions.
Major greenhouse gas sources are fossil fuel combustion, industrial age food production, with feedbacks as major potential additional catastrophic sources.
The single most catastrophic global warming effect is multiple feedback runaway climate change, a rapidly increasing risk today with emissions increasing. Yet this is not recognized as a risk by the IPCC.
There are many very large sources of amplifying (i.e., positive) feedbacks that include tipping point global warming effects. One feedback and tipping point passed is the loss of Arctic summer sea ice, which since 1980 has declined 30% and its thickness by 95%. Sea ice volume (thickness) continues to decline at a rapid linear rate.
Another well known tipping point and enormous feedback source is the Amazon, which is close to its tipping point, now emitting more GHGs than it absorbs, while deforestation continues apace. If deforestation is not stopped and if global emissions are not declined fast, the Amazon will be lost.
The most and the largest amplifying feedbacks are in the Arctic. Arctic permafrost alone holds double the atmospheric carbon. Arctic warming is accelerating, now warming at three times the global rate. Rapidly thawing permafrost is releasing feedback emissions of methane, CO2 and nitrous oxide. Arctic methane (80 x CO2 effect) has a huge potential for boosting global warming. Due to Arctic feedback emissions of methane and CO2, the Arctic has switched from a carbon sink to source (NOAA 2016, confirmed 2019).
The present IPCC model projections do not include the extra warming from the large sources of amplifying feedback, calling them "uncertainties." The last IPCC assessment to address the extra warming was the 2007 4th assessment, that put extra warming at another 30% and above another 1°C by 2100. For the A2 scenario, for example, the climate-carbon cycle feedback increases the corresponding global average warming at 2100 by more than 1°C. All models that treat the coupling of the carbon cycle to climate change indicate a positive feedback effect with warming acting to suppress land and ocean uptake of CO2, leading to larger atmospheric CO2 increases and greater climate change for a given emissions scenario (AR6 Working Group 1, p.77). Climate-carbon cycle feedback, model studies suggest, add another 30% of cumulative CO2 projections (p. 16). The 2015 AR5 said feedbacks this century will be positive, i.e., amplifying. From 2021 AR6 WG1, "The fraction of emissions taken up by land and ocean is expected to decline as the CO2 concentration increases, having weakened in the past decade" (AR6 WG1 FAQ 5.1). "The net response of natural CH4 and N2O sources to future warming will be increased emissions." "Thawing terrestrial permafrost will lead to carbon release (high confidence) (IPCC AR6 WG1 Ch 4).
Extreme weather events, the most dangerous climate change impacts to populations and to crops, are increasing in all regions -- driven by GHG emissions (IPCC) and will continue to increase in frequency and severity so long as emissions continue. That is heat waves, forest fires, drought, severe storms, and floods.
Increasing global emissions today are on track, to a planet catastrophic 2°C, harming the lives of billions
by 2050 (IPCC)
The 2015 Paris Agreement only requires countries to report their GHG emissions. The goal of "Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels" is voluntary, but it (hold) does not allow overshooting 2°C, as in assessments.
The UN (COP) climate negotiating process is set up to fail by countries instructed that consensus requires total or virtual unanimity in the voting for major matters, giving the fossil industry (via fossil pushing countries) in effect a veto over any agreement to rapidly reduce or phase out fossil fuels (as was demonstrated at COP26). So as this pertains there can be no UN agreement to rapidly reduce emissions.
WTO model free-trade agreements put profit over environmental protection and allow corporations power to sue governments (dispute process) in such issues. This is a powerful deterrent to governments acting to protect the environment.
The WTO has to correct this, putting life preserving global environmental protection above corporate profit
OCEANS GHG emissions are heating, acidifying and deoxygenating the oceans, at an accelerating rate, on track for an ocean tipping point collapse, a lethal combination for the future of all life.
2°C is planet catastrophe: the warm water coral reefs are doomed, the Amazon and tropical rainforests have died back (collapsed), most crops yields are declining and runaway feedbacks have been triggered
This includes irreversible self sustaining permafrost thaw (holds 2X atmospheric carbon) , which is emitting feedback methane, CO2 and nitrous oxide ( IPCC classified three main long-lived GHGs)
The 2021 Glasgow COP 26 and rapid post Covid-19 emissions rebound shows governments have no intention of putting global emissions into decline.
In its 2019 Gap Report UNEP stated a 7.6% emissions reduction every year between 2020 and 2030, was required to limit global warming to 1.5°C (this century), so this certainly still applies for 2°C equilibrium limit. 10 years to de-carbonization is the fastest published. -in 2016. Because relatively few countries and few corporations emit most of the emissions a rapid emissions reduction is more feasible than is realized (see section below).
Continued current emissions and policies lead to biosphere collapse with climate and oceans catastrophe
Another reason why rapid emissions reduction is feasible is that simple corrections to the world economics would reverse emissions in short order. The fact that zero carbon energy is now cost competitive with fossil fuels and the sensitivity and power of the market means that Simply the immediate termination of the huge fossil fuel subsides would do so.
The root causes of the global emergency are, the world consumer market economy, government subsidies, investment banks and managers, and consumerism. The 2006 UK Stern Commission The Economics of Climate Change made it clear the cause of climate change is today's economy. Fundamental fatal flaws or errors of economics is causing greenhouse pollution, called market failures by the economists. There is no stopping climate change without first fixing the economics- correcting the market failures. As Stern said over and over "First put a price on carbon".
Investment and financing in more fossil fuels should of course be prohibited.
Achieving a rapid large reduction in emissions is easier than realized because the vast majority of emissions is from a few countries and a few corporations.
The UN finds the country contribution of global emissions contribution of the 100 least-emitting countries is only 3%, while it is 68% from 10 largest greenhouse gas emitters. The top 3 greenhouse gas emitters contribute 16 times the emissions of the lowest emitting 100 countries. 2007 research showed emissions traced to 90 corporate carbon producers contribute ∼57% of the observed rise in atmospheric CO2, and 42–50% of the rise in global mean surface temperature. Furthermore the 2019 National Oil Company Database found national oil companies (NOCs) produce approximately 55 percent of the world’s oil and gas, pumping out an estimated 85 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. The World Bank has estimated that they control up to 90 percent of global oil and gas reserves,
Since 1990 the richest 10% of the world’s population were responsible for 52% of the cumulative carbon emissions, while The poorest 50% (3.1 billion people) were responsible for just 7% of cumulative emissions (OXFAM)
This requires a large wealth GHG pollution tax The natural gas industry is not a bridge to zero carbon because gas emits CO2 when burnt and the industry is a big methane emitter
Fossil fuels subsidies ($5.9 Trillion a year by IMF) are an unprecedented evil which for the survival of Humanity have to be terminated right away and shifted to non combustion energy development
Tax credits to GHG polluting fossil fuel industries (including carbon capture storage) cannot be permitted.
CO2 and long-lived, constantly emitted GHGs accumulate in the atmosphere, so have to (can) be totally replaced by conversions to non polluting sources-"less" or "lower" is not good enough for climate and ocean stabilization
Conversions include energy production, transport, food production/diet, construction (steel/concrete to wood)
Air transport should revert to water, and ships powered by compact fission reactors like the US Navy (for decades). Only essential air flights.
To stabilize climate and oceans GHG emissions drop to near zero (IPCC 2014).
Surface Ozone (O3) A largely ignored but dangerous GHG is tropospheric (surface) ozone formed by a chemical reaction of fossil fuel air pollutants (incl. methane) catalyzed by lower atmosphere warmth, and so its concentration increases with global warming- which increases warming. It is toxic to human and plant health, including food crops, so will increase damage to crops as surface temperature increases. Its concentration is increasing in the northern hemisphere. Reduction of ozone precursor methane emissions will be beneficial for human and plant health.
Net zero has now taken over emissions policy replacing actual emissions reduction. As is well known The 2018 IPCC 1.5°C report showed global emissions have to reduced by 45% by 2030 (compared to 2010). This still stands as mitigation for 1.5°C- 2°C. The best case mitigation scenario of the 2018 IPCC 1.5C Report (P1) has fossil fuel emissions near zero as does the 2021 Internationals Energy Agency's 2050 net zero report. However, planned fossil fuel production by 2030 is more than double the 1.5°C limit 45% more than for 2°C (Production Gap report).
Only ZERO CARBON COMBUSTION can stabilize atmospheric CO2 (and ocean acidification), so fossil fuel extraction has to stop right away and be phased out fast (fossilfueltreaty)
Stop fossil fuel (and biomass) combustion in 10 yrs
A full-cost carbon pollution fee is required fast increasing to $200/tonne), at central source, and invested in non-combustion energy
Zero future discounting has to apply In matters of GHG pollution impacts
Make investment in zero carbon combustion energy tax deductible
The only non GHG polluting energy dense power source alternative to coal (for heavy industry) at present is nuclear fission, so fission plants cannot be closed (can be refurbished) and safe molten salt compact reactors produced in large numbers to replace industrial coal and natural gas.
Limiting to 2°C requires very large, very long term removal of CO2 from the air. The only safe certain CO2 known is removal by direct air extraction (DAC) that requires energy. This requites a massive Manhattan Project type R&D venture. Even then models project a lag of 30 years from CO2 removal to stabilization of atmospheric CO2 (IPCC AR6 WG1)
So there is no allowable carbon budget left to burn more fossil fuels
Net zero emissions and carbon neutral have to include zero fossil fuels and zero carbon combustion. The undefined net zero by 2050 today is being used as reason to not reduce emissions rapidly, nor to near zero (even oil corporations say they will be net zero by 2050)
Net zero means no biomass burning, even assuming carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS after decades of attempts and government financing remains unproven, so CCS (or promise of CCS) cannot possibly be an assumed mitigation
Carbon neutral, net zero, carbon offsetting and carbon trading are ways of delaying and avoiding emergency immediate slashing of emissions
Clearing forests is not net zero or carbon neutral, as clearing and burning emit forest floor and slash carbon, and it takes 25 years for a new forest to pull out carbon. Today when global emissions had to be declining, clear cutting forests is a carbon emitter.
Zero deforestation is required for de-carbonization (no clear cutting)
De-militarization with international peaceful co-operation is a pre-requisite for de-carbonization. World military expenditures are increasing, now almost 2 trillion USD a year.
Budgets and expertise would be transferred for large mitigation and adaptation projects.
The livestock/meat and dairy industry have to end for near zero methane and CO2 emissions (IPCC AR5) because cattle exhale methane and forests are cleared for pasture and cattle feed (CO2)
The world has to go vegan, the least GHG polluting, healthiest diet after all.
Highly potent long lasting F-gases (halocarbons) have to be eliminated.
Some CO2 has to be removed safely by direct air capture, but the feasible amount at best would be limited.
As catastrophe looms larger due to inaction, more attention from the science is being given to geo engineering planetary cooling. This is extremely dangerous to our future survival because it provides a false excuse for inaction on emissions. Obviously it cannot be resorted to in the absence of aggressive mitigation, but it is looking like it will be.
It cannot mitigate catastrophic climate change, at best provide a short delay. There are two main major reasons. Ocean acidification would continue, which alone can be catastrophic to life on land as well as in the oceans. The other major reason is that atmospheric GHGs would continue to accumulate in the atmosphere increasing the radiative heat forcing. Whenever the cooling stops an abrupt massive global heating is the result, which would be the end for almost all life.
CLIMATE EMERGENCY INSTITUTE
for 1.5°C AND 2°C
IPCC Chair COP26, (IPCC AR6 WG3)
NOAA AGGI May 2022
Atmospheric CO2 equivalent (all GHGs) increased 33% from 1980 (508 ppm).Radiative heat forcing tripled.
“In all scenarios except SSP5-8.5 (which is earlier), crossing the 1.5°C threshold lies in the early 2030s” (IPCC AR6 WG1 Ch.4-555
Unprecedented atmospheric CO2 increase
Highest in millions of years.
Rate of increase 56 million year high
The rate at which CO2 has increased in the atmosphere during 1900–2019 is at least 10 times faster than at any other time during the last 800,000 years, and 4–5 times faster than during the last 56 million years (IPCC AR6, WG1, 5-676)
2023 NOAA Record atmospheric greenhouse concentrations-all increasing at accelerating rates
Atmospheric methane is accelerating fastest with wetland feedback emissions.
IPCC Reasons for Concern Risks/impacts
The 'burning embers' IPCC formulation of risks/impacts.
The global warming at which impacts occur in AR6 is much lower than the 2014 IPCC AR5, as research has found impacts occur at lower degrees
IPCC 1.5°C & 2°C are only to 2100. Warming continues 100s years after 2100
Assumed to be feasible and successful is CO2 removal from the air (CDR) required for 1.5°C & 2°C. No such capacity today. Cannot be relied on and the amount is not feasible without rapid emissions decline. Negative emissions only applies to CO2 and cannot compensate for continuing other GHG emissions.
Immediate mitigation (AR6) requires immediate termination of fossil fuel subsidies and immediate full cost pollution charge to central (fossil fuel corporations) polluters.
Fossil fuel air pollution kills millions
2018 IPCC 1.5°C Report showed 1.5°C on impacts is globally disastrous and 2° globally catastrophic-
obvious now from unprecedented extreme events all regions.
UNEP GAP Reports (and all climate science) for many years has shown global emissions must decline by 2020 (very latest)
IPCC AR6 emissions projections
Climate change is not reversible (without successful CO2 removal- not feasible for many years) Possibly nothing is more dangerous than to think it is.
Ocean changes are not reversible. 'Past GHG emissions since 1750 have committed the global ocean to future warming- will continue to increase. Changes are irreversible on centennial to millennial time scales' (IPCC AR6 WG1 B.5.1).Committed future warming is always much higher than current warming mainly because of the huge ocean heat increase.
Sea level will increase many 100s of years
Governments (by record fossil fuel subsidies), banks and industry are INCREASING fossil fuel production as fast as ever.
This leads to a hard to live future climate for the whole world- that is now certain, and an unliveable future most likely.
At 2°C (or less) multiple large global warming amplifying feedbacks, and tipping points are triggered
The IPCC AR6 told us all extreme weather events are increasing, due to human emissions, and will continue increasing with every increment of global warming
IPCC AR6 Global temperature increase projections
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2021-22 sixth assessment (AR6) called for global emissions to decline rapidly on an "immediate" basis.