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Thursday, January 20, 2011

GOP endangers our children and grandchildren

Top staff members for key House and Senate Republicans met in a closed-door session Tuesday with energy industry interests to work on strategy to handcuff the Obama administration’s climate change agenda.

With the backing of GOP caucus leaders, aides for House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) are seeking unwavering support from a host of industries for an all-out push to block federal and state climate rules.
GOP staff, energy lobby in closed-door talks


HT Think Progress

They claim these regulations kill jobs, but they do quite the opposite.
They ignore or deny the impending doom our children and grandchildren face if we do not curb our greenhouse gas emissions.


Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change
James E. Hansen and Makiko Sato
NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University Earth Institute, New York

Scenarios and predictions
  • Predictions of future sea level change are inherently difficult because, we assert, ice sheet disintegration is fundamentally a non-linear process. However, in addition, the climate forcing scenario is uncertain. When predictions are made, or statements that can be construed as predictions, it is important to be clear what climate forcing scenario is being considered.
  • IPCC BAU (business-as-usual) scenarios assume that greenhouse gas emissions will continue to increase, with the nations of the world burning most of the fossil fuels including unconventional fossil fuels such as tar sands.
  • An alternative extreme, one that places a substantial rising price on carbon emissions, would have CO2 emissions beginning to decrease within less than a decade, as the world moves on energy systems beyond fossil fuels, leaving most of the remaining coal and unconventional fossil fuels in the ground. In this extreme scenario, let's call it fossil fuel phase-out (FFPO), CO2 would rise above 400 ppm but begin a long decline by mid-century (Hansen et al., 2008).
  • The European Union 2°C scenario, call it EU2C, falls in between these two extremes.
  • BAU scenarios result in global warming of the order of 3-6°C. It is this scenario for which we assert that multi-meter sea level rise on the century time scale are not only possible, but almost dead certain. Such a huge rapidly increasing climate forcing dwarfs anything in the peleoclimate record. Antarctic ice shelves would disappear and the lower reaches of the Antarctic ice sheets would experience summer melt comparable to that on Greenland today.
  • The other extreme scenario, FFPO, does not eliminate the possibility of multi-meter sea level rise, but it leaves the time scale for ice sheet disintegration very uncertain, possibly very long. If the time scale is several centuries, then it may be possible to avoid large sea level rise by decreasing emissions fast enough to cause atmospheric greenhouse gases to decline in amount.
  • What about the intermediate scenario, EU2C? We have presented evidence in this paper that prior interglacial periods were less than 1°C warmer than the Holocene maximum. If we are correct in that conclusion, the EU2C scenario implies a sea level rise of many meters. It is difficult to predict a time scale for the sea level rise, but it would be dangerous and foolish to take such a global warming scenario as a goal.
Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change

emphasis mine.



Update
See Climate Progress post on Hansen Sato paper.

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