The most serious scientific debate at this point is no longer whether we will or will not overshoot the 1.5ºC threshold, but rather when, and how soon 2ºC will follow.
The soonest for 1.5ºC would be next decade, according to multiple studies. The IPCC, a notoriously conservative estimator, places it in the 2040s (translation: 2030s). Within that 15-year range, 2025-2040, it is simply not possible at this point in 2018 to pinpoint a year with precision.
But here’s the Big Question: Do we have to? It should suffice, really, for you to know with the high certainty we do know that 1.5ºC & 2ºC can no longer be avoided, that future risks from now on will escalate progressively and exponentially in intensity and frequency, and that you should therefore prepare and become as resilient as you can for the onset of that range less than ten years from now — not to mention the adaptation and innovation needed today for the climate impacts and resilience-related opportunities already with us.
If you’re a city planner, corporate risk manager, or solutions provider, this must become one of your single highest priorities, given the well reported consequences and widespread disarray we will all face. At The Resilience Journal, it is ours.
After all, no sane leader plans ahead based on miracle possibilities, but rather on what is highly or most likely to happen. Including this. Especially this. Don’t you?
Here are the relevant links for your perusal and analysis. Bring them to your next board or key-committee meeting. We’ll be exploring with you, and writing about, the real debate we must now have: what are the likely CONSEQUENCES and ESCALATING HOTHOUSE IMPACTS beyond 1.5ºC & 2ºC we should prepare for starting now, and exactly what resilience measures we should take based on those scenarios.
We, for one, are seeing too much resilience-as-usual among city officials, and nowhere near enough awareness and action among corporate leaders. A new level beckons in the face of the sum and quality of this data:
- National Academy of Sciences on the inevitable Hothouse Effect
- David Wallace-Wells’ annotated Uninhabitable Earth
- University of Melbourne temperature projection
- Henley & King projection
- IPCC projection, published Oct 8, 2018
- IPCC’s worst-case scenarios loom likeliest
- IPCC is way underestimating the economic costs
- Meibom et. al. ocean finding
- U.S. Department of Defense study on sea level by 2050
- Union of Concerned Scientists coastal flooding next 30 yrs
- NOAA on sea level and flooding I
- NOAA on sea level and flooding II
- Projections are now coming true: wetter, stronger storms
- Hansen et. al. peer-reviewed finding on sea level and storms
- Ricke & Caldeira finding on 10-15 year committed warming
For each one of these, there are many others. Alternate studies point to a more optimistic timescale, but mainstream science has shifted decidedly to the more imminent outcomes found in these links, which makes this the new most likely scenario, which in turn means it is high time for all of us to implement a new high-urgency resilience mode in our cities, countries, companies and organizations.
It’s basic logic.