The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.
The world pumped about 564 million more tons (512 million metric tons) of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009. That’s an increase of 6 percent. That amount of extra pollution eclipses the individual emissions of all but three countries — China, the United States and India, the world’s top producers of greenhouse gases.
Worse than the worst case scenario about which this was written…
In 2007, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its last large report on global warming, it used different scenarios for carbon dioxide pollution and said the rate of warming would be based on the rate of pollution. Boden said the latest figures put global emissions higher than the worst case projections from the climate panel. Those forecast global temperatures rising between 4 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century with the best estimate at 7.5 degrees.
7.5 degree delta F is about a 4 degree delta C. From the food issue of FP that ran a couple months back…
The rule of thumb among crop ecologists is that for every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature above the growing season optimum, farmers can expect a 10 percent decline in grain yields.“
So, assuming every degree added to global temperatures will be a net degree added over and above the growing season optimum, taking 90% (current yield minus 10%) to the power of 4 (90% of 90% 4 times), you get end-of-century grain yields approximately 34% smaller than current yields.
This is without taking into account the inevitable-seeming depletion of a terrifying portion of the world’s aquifers (described in detail in the same article).
Nor, giving the optimists their due, is it taking into account technological advancements in grain production — though marginal improvements attributable to technology, the same article reports, have been shrinking as mass capitalized agriculture has almost run out of traditionally-tended quality land to “modernize.”
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that farmers will have to produce 70% more food by 2050 to meet the needs of the world’s expected 9-billion-strong population. That amounts to 1bn tonnes more wheat, rice and other cereals and 200m more tonnes of beef and other livestock.
Why? Because CHINA.
Shoot me through the part of my brain that conservatives are apparently missing. Please?
Here’s the prologue to the new Trier film, Melancholia — fitting, no? I’m pecking away at a review, the tl;dr version of which is that it’s basically the best movie I’ve ever seen.