I would say based on current scientific knowledge there is a 100% chance that climate change will be catastrophic iif we do not take sufficient action. There is no scientific reason to believe that if the global mean temperature reaches the range of 5C to 10C that earth will be anything like what is it now and if that happens within a matter of decades rather than many centuries millions of species will be at risk and critical ecosystems for human survival will be distrupted. It basically come down to the simple proposition that if we don't take action there will be a massive human population crash and probably the majority of species of animals and plants will go extinct. Already the bleaching of the coral reefs is threatening mass extinction of sea life in only a few decades. Trump is engaged in perhaps the most irresponsible actions in human history. It is not a stretch to imagine he could turn out to be the single most destructive person ever to live.
Excellent article. The asteroid analogy is very apt.
Why so few comments? Maybe because it would require that the reader acknowledge that Trump's policies regarding climate change are, literally and mathematically, infinitely worse than Hillary's climate policies would have been?
On what scientific basis can the author make this kind of statement? I would argue that there is overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the trajectory of climate change and that human interventions, via drastic reduction in GHG emissions, are needed to prevent disaster.
Yes, and the time to act is NOW!!!!
Agreed. Let's all move Hillary up a notch.
She's now up to notch '1'.
The polar caps, greenland and all the glaciers on earth have entered irreversible decline. Just what would you be proposing for "sufficient action" to prevent catastrophic? If you want to talk about making the situation less worse for future generations, well, I can understand that. If you are seriously talking about getting catastrophic, that is already a done deal. We simply do not have the will to devote the energy and resources to remove gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, yet that is what needs to be done. Given the climate sensitivity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and seas, we have already baked in catastrophic. Just what is your definition of "sufficient action"?
More like a piano falling on you. What a stupid comment. You don't know the trajectory of the piano either but you can make a good guess.
No It's not.
We can detect an asteroid and compute it's trajectory long before it strikes. This is not analogous to global warming at all.
Not precisely (i.e the 100 km radius area of probably impact) until the final month or two before impact, when it is too late to do anything except try to evacuate whole countries around the impact (or worse entire coasts of ocean basins if it hits at sea). Before that, impact risk is expressed in probabilities and given a Torino Scale number.
Simiarly, the impacts of a rapidly warming earth still have a lot of uncertainties, but the probability of the impacts being very adverse - particularly on the longer multi-hundred year time scale - is certainly high enough so that aggressive action is needed.
And regarding the time scale, a likelihood of things being done now not producing catastrophic impacts until1000 years in the future does not reduce, in the least, the need to stop doing those things now.