​​​​​​​​It is impossible to plan for prevention of global climate catastrophe, mitigation of global climate change and adaptation to global climate change without basing plans and policies on today’s committed global warming and climate change.

​​​However, committed global warming is not being made the basis of climate change policy or planning.

​​​​​The main characteristic of the climate system is its great ‘inertia’.

​​Today’s committed global warming is in much greater degree of warming that will happen even if all emissions were rapidly reduced to virtually zero.

​​The commitment to future global warming and the impacts of the future warming are several times greater than the global warming and impacts of today.

​​They are also irreversible because global warming lasts over 1000 years.

Committed Global Temperature Increases

​​Today's full committed global​warming
​due to climate
​science is 2.4°C
(Ramanathan​, Feng  ​Avoiding 
​Dangerous Climate interference ...
PNAS 2008)​

​and ​warming will continue ​for over
 1000 years​

•0.8°C today's surface temperature increase

•0.7°C 'hidden' deferred warming from
​ the ocean
heat lag.
​The ocean heat lag commits any
​temperature ​increase before 2100
​to almost double ​after 2100 at
​temperature equilibrium. ​

•0.9°C 'hidden' deferred ​warming ​​due to
cooling that will be 'unmasked'
fossil air ​pollution or fossil energy
​ production stops​

​• Plus another 1.0°C which is the 
fastest time from emergency emissions
reduction to atmospheric GHG stabilization.​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​1. Absolute future commitments due to the climate science:

​​a. Climate system inertia due to the ocean heat lag
​b. Extremely slow removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
​c. Deferred additional warming due to the aerosol air pollution cooling factor 
​​d. Absolute future commitment due to time required to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
​e. The commitment to global warming climate change and ocean acidification is practically for ever.

​​2. Policy commitments resulting from the delay in implementing policies effective enough to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

​​3. Economic commitment due to the market failure that the economics does not make atmospheric greenhouse gas polluters pay any of the cost of the pollution. Until polluters are charged by governments for the cost of pollution it is economically impossible for greenhouse gas emissions to reduce.

​​​​​​​This future commitment is due to the fact that there are very long delays (lag times) between a change to the climate system and a resulting effect from the climate system.

​​This also results in small changes to the climate system causing very large climate change impacts.

​​This most important aspects of the climate science are due to the following:

1.The ocean heat lag - the delay between the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) to the added heat from the increased atmospheric GHG registering as a temperature increase at the surface of the planet. This delay (lag) is 30 to 50 years.

​​2. The transfer of this heat from the increased amount of atmospheric greenhouse takes place extremely slowly over a time frame of hundreds of years.

​​3. The main greenhouse gases last in the atmosphere for a long-time and are called ‘long-lasting atmospheric gases.' In particular 20% of all carbon dioxide emissions last for 1000 years in the atmosphere.

​​4. As a result of the above global warming will last for over 1000 years.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​IPCC 2001 graphic illustration showing the
​very long time frame of atmospheric
​carbon dioxide global temperature and
​sea level ​responses to reducing carbon
​dioxide emissions to virtually zero.

​​​Since the publication of this IPCC graph 
​in 2001 (IPCC TAR SYR Ch 4) scientists have determined that
​the global temperature will not stabilize
for over 1000 years following the stabilization
of atmospheric carbon dioxide (S Solomon
PNAS Irreversible global warming due to
​carbon dioxide emissions​

​​We certainly cannot afford to take 100 years
​now to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide- but it will still take a long time.

​​In 2007 the IPCC said that for atmospheric carbon dioxide
​to stabilize long-term carbon dioxide emissions had to
​be reduced to zero (IPCC AR4 FAQ 10.3.

​​​Until atmospheric carbon dioxide is stabilized, ocean
​acidification will continue to increase.

​​​Climate system inertia ​due to the ocean heat lag


​​It takes 30-50 years for the heat from an emission greenhouse gas into the atmosphere to register as a temperature increase at the surface of the planet. This is because most of the planet is water, so most of the heat is taken up by the oceans. The heat is stored as it circulated and distributed throughout the oceans before it can register as a surface temperature increase.  

The temperature can not stop increasing ​(stabilize) until the
​atmospheric ​concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) 
​​stabilize ​(stop increasing).

​Carbon dioxide  ​​cannot ​stabilize unless 
​carbon emissions stop (zero carbon).
​With atmospheric stabilization of GHGs the
​temperature almost stops increasing
​('transient' temperature increase)- but not

​​The temperature very slowly ​continues to increase, as the ocean continues
​to slowly transfer the stored to the planet's surface (even with no more
​heat being added to the climate system) for hundreds of years, finally
​stabilizing at the 'equilibrium' temperature increase. The eventual equilibrium
​temperature is almost double the transient temperature increase. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​2010 National Research Council Climate Stabilization Targets.
​The ocean heat lag and inertia​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​The graphical part of the diagram shows how
​atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide
​corresponded to temperature.
​Transient or near-term warming (in blue)
​is only a fraction of the total warming
​the equilibrium warming expected
to occur (in red).

​Because of time lags inherent in the
​Earth’s climate, warming that occurs in response
​to a given increase in the concentration
​of carbon dioxide (“transient climate change”)
​reflects only about half the eventual total warming
​​(“equilibrium climate change”) that would occur
​for stabilization at the same concentration
​(see Figure Syn.4).

​For example, if concentrations reached
​550 ppmv, transient warming would be
​about 1.6°C, but holding concentrations
​at 550 ppmv would mean that warming would
​continue over the next several centuries,
​reaching a best estimate of an equilibrium
​ warming of about 3°C.

The ocean heat lag and inertia

​​Today's temperature increase of 0.8°C,
​because of the ocean heat lag , is an
​absolute commitment of 1.5°C .

​​​​​​​​​​​​Global temperature increases reached by 2100
​are absolutely ​committed by the climate system
​inertia (ocean heat lag) to ​almost double over
​the long term after 2100.

​Fossil fuel air pollution aerosol cooling 
Deferred committed additional global warming 0.9°C 
Fossil fuel air pollution aerosols (tiny particles suspended
​in the atmosphere) reflect solar energy back out space.

​​This is an additional global warming or deferred warming

​​The fossil fuel air pollution will be stopped for two reasons.


​To improve air quality and reduce the damaging health
​ effects of fossil fuel air pollution.


​A more certain reason is that all industrial fossil fuel combustion
​has to stop because the science is definite that so long as industrial
​carbon dioxide is being emitted, the global temperature , climate
​change and ocean acidification cannot stop increasing.

​​Reducing or stopping the aerosol containing air pollution unmasks the degree
​of global warming being avoided by the aerosol cooling effect.

​​Aerosols or tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere
that can come from air pollution,
volcanoes dust and ocean spray.
​They can reflect or absorb sunlight directly.
​They can seed cloud droplets and brighten clouds.

​Research is indicating that the air pollution cooling
​aerosols exert a very substantial cooling effect,
​ that is masking a lot of the global warming radiation
​from the lower atmosphere by the increase
​in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

​​Air pollution from burning fossil fuels include
​tiny particles of acid, which exert a global cooling effect.
​The latest models indicate this cooling effect
​to be as high as nearly 1°C.

Time from start of emergency emissions
​reductions to atmospheric GHG stabilization 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​To totally decarbonize the world energy economy
​is an essential and vast undertaking.
​This Climate Interactive scenario matches the most
​rapid proposals, and it takes 50 years to
atmospheric stabilization.
​The rate of warming since 1980 has been almost
​0.3° C per decade (IPCC says 0.2° C /decade).
​This makes at least another 1°C.
Stabilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide requires that all ​industrial carbon dioxide ​emissions be stopped.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Therefore it is impossible that the global temperature ​climate change and ​ocean acidification will stop
​increasing ​unless all industrial ​carbon dioxide emissions ​are completely stopped.

​​​The bottom line is that world powers are committing the world to global climate catastrophe.


Unless governments adopt a policy of reducing carbon emissions to zero by charging greenhouse gas polluters the cost of pollution, the world is committed to increasing greenhouse gas emissions resulting in accelerating atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations that can only lead to global climate catastrophe.​​​​​​

​​​The Basic Science ​Behind ​Today's ​​​​Committed
​​Global Warming ​and Climate Change
"Even the most aggressive CO2 ​mitigation steps as envisioned ​now can only limit further additions
​to the committed warming, ​but not reduce the already ​committed GHGs warming of 2.4°C." (Ramanthan, Feng 2008​)

Today we are absolutely committed to a global temperature increase above 3°C and global warming will last over 1000 years
At a global temperature increase of 3C all crops in all regions have declined below today's baseline productivity
(IPCC 2007 UK Met Office 2009​ NRC 2010) ​. We must know commitment to plan avoidance of catastrophic impacts.

 The health and human rights approach to climate change​