Sunday, December 13, 2020

The myth of “net zero emissions by 2050”

by Andrew Glikson

[ Oil and gas fracking pads in Texas. Photo: Dennis Dimick ]

It should raise people’s hopes to believe “net zero emissions by 2050” will arrest or at least slow-down global warming, had it not been yet another cruel hoax perpetrated in the wake of more than 50 years of obfuscation and denial of environment and climate science.

This is because:

For this reason, the essential reductions in emission must be accompanied with sequestration of atmospheric greenhouse gases by at least the amount of annual emissions.

The authorities are not listening to what climate science is indicating. Instead they are consulting with economists ignorant of the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere and of the consequences of global heating. An example is the absurd idea as if “a rise of 4°C in global average temperature would be “optimal” when the costs and benefits of mitigating climate change are balanced”.

Currently, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing at the approximate rate of 2 to 3 parts per million per year. This leaves the fundamental question unanswered: What, if anything, would halt the fatal progression toward +4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures, given that according to the IPCC (cited by the World Bank) a “four degree world would be one of unprecedented heatwaves, severe drought and major floods in many regions”. In perspective, global warming of the 20-21st centuries is at least 70 times faster than the rise of about 5 degrees Celsius over a period of about 7000 years since the last interglacial period. At this rate of environmental change mass extinctions are inevitable. When Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (former climate adviser to the German Chancellor and the EU) was asked about the difference between a +2°C and a +4°C world, he replied: “Human civilization”.


Andrew Glikson

Dr Andrew Glikson
Earth and Paleo-climate scientist
ANU Climate Science Institute
ANU Planetary Science Institute
Canberra, Australia

The Asteroid Impact Connection of Planetary Evolution
The Archaean: Geological and Geochemical Windows into the Early Earth
Climate, Fire and Human Evolution: The Deep Time Dimensions of the Anthropocene
The Plutocene: Blueprints for a Post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth
Evolution of the Atmosphere, Fire and the Anthropocene Climate Event Horizon
From Stars to Brains: Milestones in the Planetary Evolution of Life and Intelligence
Asteroids Impacts, Crustal Evolution and Related Mineral Systems with Special Reference to Australia