Crossing the 2 C mark

We should have known this was coming, but we’ve all been rather busy. Several weeks ago, I found this notice on my FB wall, courtesy of Sam Carana. For those of you just joining us, I’ve frequently printed Carana’s projections about the future increases in temperature that would lead to more melting of the Arctic ice. But this projection is a bit more direct:

This is addressed in a long article on the Arctic Blogspot here. a description is here: At the Paris Agreement in 2015, politicians pledged to hold the global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to try and limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

This analysis by Sam Carana of the temperature rise since pre-industrial shows that the 1.5°C threshold was already crossed at the time the Paris Agreement was reached in 2015 and that the 2°C threshold was crossed in February 2020.

Why would the temperature surge up past the 2 C mark NOW? Those of you who’ve seen my other blogposts understand that we are in what Dr. Guy McPherson has described as a ‘Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t’ circumstance. The nearly 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide we’re adding to the atmosphere per year are driving greenhouse gas levels to a point of warming that destroys habitat. However, stopping the use of fossil fuels means no more particulate going into the atmosphere to reflect solar radiation back into space. We’ve slowed down fossil fuel use by some 35%. That is more than enough to allow temperatures to go past the point of likely human extinction.

Doctor Guy McPherson has addressed this today on his website. He has in the past cautioned about using the 2 C mark as any sort of harbinger of doom. The 2 C mark as the disaster point was arrived at by economists, not climate scientists, and it can be argued that passing 1 C above global average temperatures was the beginning of the end. What occurs to me (accepting for a moment that we’ve passed the 2 C mark) is the way such a milestone passing indicates just how incompetent humans are. We reached near-universal agreement that 2 C was the point of no return back at the Paris COP21 conference in 2015 And yet here we are five years later having passed the 2 C number. That was the number we couldn’t pass.

We have a lot to contemplate over the next year. I think Dr. Anthony Fauci’s predictions over the future of the endemic have a lot to do with him not wanting to be fired by Trump. Fauci knows that he’s one of the few people keeping things on an even keel here, and getting himself fired would mean that the administration would make things worse. But he has remained adamant that we’re 12-18 months away from a vaccine. With the loss of global dimming that is already happening, we do not have 18 months.

I’d always thought we would have some time here–some time to make our bucket list trips and put our affairs in order. But the lockdown prevents that. Maybe we’ll take some time anyway. There are 320 million of us–they can’t arrest us all.

this has been a test.

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