Global warming: humanity’s last warning?
There are two big things happening these days:
First, the Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to nordhaus for his contribution to climate economics.
The second is the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) in incheon, South Korea has released the IPCC global warming 1.5 ℃ special report, the report just terrible warning signals, strong, determined, the BBC said it interpreted as “the last alarm” in humans, and only 12 years to resolve.
Some foreign media even exaggerate as “human disaster”. Is it true or alarmist?
- According to an authoritative IPCC report, setting a temperature control target of 1. 5 degrees Celsius will save mankind, or it will have disastrous consequences, and if no action is taken, the harm caused by global warming as soon as 2030 will be very significant.
- This report is not a scaremongering. There is a need to dispel doubts about global warming and take a serious look at the future.
What did the last alarm say?
It would be a good idea to go into the details of the report first. The publisher of the report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, or IPCC, is an intergovernmental organization within the framework of the United Nations. It is made up of officials and scientists under the joint leadership of national governments. The organization dealing with climate change is recognized as the most authoritative organization on climate issues in the world.
Zhai Panmao, co-chairman of IPCC working Group I and vice president of the China Academy of Meteorological Sciences, one of the authors of the report, also gave an interview to the United Nations Information Service (Unis) after the release of the report. In other words, the authority and representativeness of the report are absolutely adequate.
What does the report say?
The name of the report is the IPCC Special report on Global warming, and as you may recall, when it comes to global warming, there is a temperature-control target of 2 °C, which means that the average global temperature should be controlled to no more than 2 °C compared to before the Industrial Revolution.
Over the years, however, scientists have discovered that a 2 °C temperature target may not be enough; it will have to be lower.
The agreement adopted at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015 committed the international community to act to limit the average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, the pre-industrial level, and to continue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
But now the new report says that, from a scientific point of view, 2 ℃ really does not make much sense, to control 1.5 degrees Celsius to save humanity, a detailed analysis of the 0.5 ℃ difference in the end, as well as how to do, how much money to spend.
The rest is left to politics, with Poland’s Katowice climate change conference at the end of this year, to a large extent, determining the fate of mankind.
The 0.5 degree difference would be something like this: for example, by 2100, limiting global warming to 1.5 °C instead of 2 °C would reduce global sea-level rise by 10 cm. Global warming of 1.5 °C is at least once a century, compared with the possibility of a global warming of 2 °C leading to a lack of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean in summer at least once every 10 years.
As the global temperature rises by 1. 5 °C, coral reefs will decrease by 70-90%, while 2 °C coral reefs will disappear (& gt;99%). In the words of Bertner, co-chair of working Group II of the IPCC, “every additional increase in temperature is very important” because it increases the risk of long-term or irreversible changes.
What about “only 12 years left to solve”? According to the report, if the current level of emissions is maintained, it could rise to 1.5 °C between 2030 and 2052.
Isn’t 2030 only 12 years from now? Since the Industrial Revolution, the Earth’s temperature has risen by about 1 °C (plus or minus 0.2 °C), at a rate of about 0.2 °C per decade, if the measures agreed at the Paris Climate Conference are implemented. It’s going to heat up by about 3.3 °C in 2100, which would be 3.6 °C if the US announced its withdrawal from the Paris agreement, and 4.2 °C if you leave the climate alone.
What are we going to do for this research?
So, how to achieve the 1.5 °C temperature control goal? Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C would require a “rapid and far-reaching” shift in land, energy, industry, construction, transport and cities, the report said. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and reach “net zero” emissions by 2050 or so. Sounds inconceivable. After all, is it impossible to cut emissions to zero again? In fact, because of today’s carbon capture technology, “net zero” emissions mean that the remaining emissions need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air. But it’s also obviously an extremely difficult goal.
To put it more concretely, countries must drastically readjust their energy mix. At present, coal accounts for about 37 per cent of the global energy market, renewable energy for about 25 per cent and natural gas for 24 per cent. The report recommends increasing the share of renewable energy to 70 to 85 per cent by 2050, while reducing the share of natural gas to 8 per cent and coal to 0 to 2 per cent.
Coal down from 37% to 0? In 30 years? According to the report, coal is actually required to generate about 10% of electricity by 2030, a big change in 12 years. It is no wonder that United Nations press releases emphasize that the report is recommending “urgent, far-reaching and unprecedented change” in countries.
That sounds a little too difficult. Coal is still the backbone of energy in many countries, and after Trump took office, he declared that the United States would revive the coal industry. In Australia, where carbon taxes were abolished four years ago and “emissions from almost every industry have been rising over the past few years”, talk of such “urgent and unprecedented” change comes at a time of such trends. Is it politically possible?
When it comes to spending money, you may not be able to close your chin-the report says that limiting warming to 1. 5 C would involve “about $2.4 trillion a year in investment needs in the energy system” between 2016 and 2035. Note that the unit is “trillions of dollars,” and it costs that much every year, accounting for about 2.5 percent of the world’s annual GDP. With such astronomical expenses, is this IPCC really joking?
The problem is that IPCC is not joking.
Why is this report not alarmist?
To be honest, after introducing the “final warning” mentioned above, the author is not confident that this report will have any great impact on people all over the world.
In terms of propaganda strategies, these scientists really have some “estrangement” from the public. Of course, the mission of scientists is to seek truth, and scientific reports should be based on facts rather than propaganda. However, even if the media “translate” the contents of the report as “final warning” and “disaster”, I am afraid it will not be of any use, or even counterproductive, saying that you are alarmist is OK. Conspiracy theories about your “ulterior motives” are popping up one after another.
In particular, this report, and all previous IPCC reports, seemed so politically and economically unworkable that many conspiracy theories prevailed for a long time.
In the eyes of some, “curbing carbon emissions” is seen as a trap set by developed countries, led by the United States, to prevent developing countries such as China from becoming rich; in the eyes of some people in the United States, it is a conspiracy by developing countries. Mr Trump, for example, once argued that “climate change is a hoax invented by China to support its own manufacturing industry”. These statements are far away from the truth, but they are very popular.
Even the IPCC report, a UN framework, and even the names of Chinese scientists in the press release, are not likely to be taken at face value.
One of the reasons is that people will never simply believe what scientists say, especially when it is very different from what they already know-Chinese websites. A common comment on the IPCC report is that “this tiny change in climate caused by human activity is insignificant in the face of the natural cyclical changes in the Earth’s climate.” ”
An international survey in 2015 showed that Chinese interest in climate change issues had dropped sharply compared to 2010, and interest has barely recovered from observations over the past few years. Under such circumstances, it is surely unrealistic to talk about “urgent, far-reaching and unprecedented energy changes” in China.
But here again, we should point out that the IPCC report is not alarmist.
As far as the credibility of the IPCC report is concerned, many will cite the 2009 Climategate as proof that the so-called “mainstream meteorologists” are unreliable and look for evidence before they have a point of view, but few are concerned about the follow-up to Climategate. In fact, several independent committees have investigated Climategate and concluded that climate scientists have not tampered with the data. If even this is suspected, it is that the IPCC is not reliable, the United Nations is not reliable, then there is no authority to be trusted with the organization. It is true that the IPCC report will be controversial, and whether it stands the test of history will only allow time to speak, but on the whole, at this point, the report is endorsed by the global “scientific community.”
Therefore, it is suspicious to try to overturn the authoritative conclusion with one’s own fixed point of view. Take the saying that “human beings do not have a great impact on the Earth’s climate”, in fact, it is ignored that the so-called periodic changes in the Earth’s climate are large-scale changes over thousands of years. But what scientists are talking about now is “global warming,” but the effects on the future of the events of the industrial revolution over the past 200 years or so are only a few decades away. The two time scales are not the same. And, to the extent that human civilization has advanced to the present day, the disasters and losses caused by climate problems are not comparable in ancient times, let alone in the ice age of tens of thousands of years, when all we had to do was to expect our ancestors to reproduce. But today’s human society, is willing to bear the loss of even 1% of the population?
As for whether there is ice in the Arctic, how much the sea level rises, and whether coral reefs will disappear, the Chinese people really do not care much, and it is difficult to inspire everyone to care; moreover, scientists like to talk about things that will happen decades from now. And it’s really hard to feel the urgency. However, I would like to say that the IPCC report, there is also an immediate, can let the Chinese feel the disaster of climate change, that is, the increasing number of extreme weather. Zhai Panmao, a Chinese scientist and co-chair of the IPCC working group, said a key message of the report was that “we have seen the consequences of global warming of 1C”, including more extreme weather.
Extreme weather has many facets.
For example, hot weather, the report pointed out that under climate change, the increasing number of extreme hot weather, which can be attributed to human activities, is highly reliable. The heat wave that swept the northern hemisphere this summer can be said to be evidence of this.
Another example is rainstorms, which are reported to be increasing in many areas as the world warms. “the evidence at hand suggests that a warmer Earth is likely to experience an increase in the frequency of heavy rainfall events, accompanied by an increase in the intensity of the water cycle and an increase in the water storage capacity of the warmer atmosphere,” the researchers note. ”
Another example is drought, which the report says is getting drier and drier in some areas, which is also highly credible. In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said that climate change and the development of irrigated agriculture had led to the development of agriculture between 2070 and 2100. China’s North China Plain may be made uninhabitable by extreme heat waves, which can even be life-threatening for outdoor workers, “who may die within hours of extreme heat waves”.
Another example is Typhoon. People are very impressed with “mangosteen” this year, and the typhoon in the United States and Japan this year is also very destructive. However, in the IPCC report, due to the extremely complex issue, there is no conclusion given. But in recent years some studies have pointed out that global warming provides energy for typhoons and will increase rainfall and frequency.
The above facts about extreme weather are felt by all of us. Does this make you a little bit more aware of global warming?
The Naked Ape saves itself.
A little more can be said about the IPCC report. In terms of publicity, the report was written by 91 scientists from 40 countries, based on more than 6000 scientific references. What is not mentioned here is that the IPCC adopts a consensus mechanism whereby all countries agree with the conclusions of the report and sign them. For the report to be approved for release. The release of the report was threatened by the United States and Saudi Arabia at one point during the meeting, but it was eventually endorsed by climate officials and scientists in all member countries.
In other words, this is a strong consensus report, if the next aspects of human policy, especially energy policy to be decided by the IPCC, then 1. 5 ℃ temperature control target is possible. But this is not the operating mechanism of human society, how to deal with the climate problem, is determined by all human beings, and the vast majority of people can not understand all aspects of climate change in depth.
Mankind is also likely to be unable to act in concert because of the distribution of responsibilities and benefits, not to mention the game between the great powers. In the simplest sense, many countries that are less threatened by climate problems are not willing to pay for island countries and coastal states.
And even if people realize that if they don’t solve the problem of climate change now, they will only spend more money to deal with it in the future, and they will hardly be willing to pay large sums of money to solve the problem for future generations at this point in time, after all. The present generation still has a lot of problems to solve.
Diamond Morris’ famous popular science book, “naked apes,” mentions, “. In spite of the rapid development of technology, we are still largely a biological phenomenon. Despite the grandeur of our thoughts and the conceit of our pride, we are still humble animals, obeying all the basic laws of animal behavior … ” Group selfishness, shortsightedness, eagerness for quick success and instant gain, It makes it seem difficult for naked apes to cope with climate change, the big question about the fate of all human beings.
It’s time to really focus on the big issues that are going to happen in the near future, at least if we’re all going to have to pay attention before we can talk about a solution.