350 ppm is still the climate limit, while paid off mainstream media still deny current emergency.
Climate scientists have told us for more than a decade that getting atmospheric carbon dioxide equivalents back below 350 parts per million (ppm) is required to limit the Earth’s temperature rise to 1ºC above pre-industrial levels.
Unfortunately, the CO2 equivalent level is now something like 500 ppm, (2017) which is ~410 for carbon dioxide (CO2) plus the greenhouse gas effects of other human additions are included - methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (NOx), FluoroCarbons(FCx). The CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas aggregate has risen about 50 ppm in 17 years. This is about 3 ppm year, mostly due to real CO2 increase.
As these continue to rise, it must be obvious now that we have yet to reach peak human global warming acceleration. The slopes of radiation forcing and greenhouse gases look like they have no intention of ever turning down. To fix this we will have to work hard on our default behaviours.
The amount of total "radiative forcing" sets the speed of ocean warming, like how many bars on a space heater. The addition of new larger amounts of greenhouse gases every year, is the human factor of acceleration. This accounts for setting of new temperature records every year, as oceans and weather systems are pushed by high rates of warming, locked in for decades to come. Because it takes many decades to increase the temperature of so much water, new worse impacts are felt by subsequent generations.
There are clusters of growth in online articles and blogs on climate change, on the off-mainstream media. They are very justified in castigating current political climate goals as inadequate for the emergency. If only the volume of climate and politically literate articles had more effect on loosening the stranglehold that fossil fuel industry money has on determining the future of civilisation. The mainstream media take their payoffs and select their messages from fossil fuel economic interests that bid with the most money, particularly for advertising. Everyone wants positive returns on investments, requiring overall economic growth. Economic growth requires cheap energy, including lots of cheap coal, oil and gas. GDP and human greenhouse gas emissions are directly related.
In the current global international neglect, Global warming impacts are taken advantage of as a weaponized adjunct to the normal human species inter-group warfare and economic competition. The global military state attitude seems to be "let us see who collapses first", with plans to follow through with conquest to pick out the resource crumbs. This is taken as the natural arrangement of the lack of moral and ecological basis to unregulated Capitalism, and has naturally predictive long term consequences.
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Societal collapse is loss of trust. Trust is based on truth. When the government and media lie, society becomes divided. The loss of trust of society in itself, and in climate science, are a part of the gradual collapse process. The earliest states domesticated humans, with agriculture and domestication of animals, used religious stories to build up the concept of truth as the result divine revelation, and setup government as the official source of revelation. These failed to hold the population together during the many bad times of failed harvests. Christianity mutated and refined the concepts of state religion as the Roman empire state collapsed. Islam arose as a political unification visionary. Religions achieved a partial separation from state government, which was their primary originators. Human Extinction is similar to the "second coming/end times" expected by early Christianity. All of these depend on human social groups and cultural expressions.
Today the secular truth and lies of the current state secular religion, of jobs, growth and consumption, "the economy", are distributed by corporations and governments using the mainstream media and advertising. As governments and corporations find the climate truths about fossil fuels inconvenient, they make up their own more palatable versions. This is made all the more easier by rejecting science in favour of traditional preexisting religious templates favoured for state government political control, since states err on the side of control rather than truth.
Climate science and activists are blamed and called "religious extremists" by state governments, simply because what actvists say isn't in the official state religious controlled release version.
The official versions will find other causes to be blamed, rather than the decisions of real authority and power. When things are going badly, as they are now, the truth gets hidden, inconvenient science is buried, and society becomes divided, and cannot meet new challenges. Fatalism rather than action happens, and future collapse, which is already a necessary ecological consequence, will come naturally as self-fulfilling prophesy.
Fossil fuel burning needs to be cut drastically now
The current relationship between GDP and CO2 per capita requires a log-log plot, like a power function, because of the orders of magnitude of the data range. The function fit line helps to mark how this has varied in time since 1950. The 1950 line is shown with each year for comparison. CO2 emissions per person have doubled from 1950 to 2016. Meanwhile global population is on its way to 2 doublings.
Richer nations use more energy intensive technology. Each high consumption nation, benefited from the earliest access to large amounts of cheap fossil fuels. In many cases they used this to establish control of bulk supplies, finance and trade, and still burn fossil fuels at a lower transaction costs to themselves.
The rates of lifestyle wealth consumption of fossil fuels will not be maintained because accumulating global warming impacts,among the many rising extraction costs and injustices. Wealth is directly linked to CO2 emissions. Wealth also encourages population size to increase. This has been well known for a long time, as also is the greater problem that wealthy nations and powerful classes of people within them refuse to acknowledge that global warming is directly caused by their wealth, and refuse to do anything about it. National wealth politics, culture positively encourage growth as "Aspiration", and "National Pride", which is the drive to climb the social hierarchy, which is predominantly about wealth.
Corporations want growth in markets and profits, therefore they promote "growth policies" of governments. Populations want wealth and security. They want economic growth, and deny that if everyone tries to have more, everyone will become worse off.
Agency of mass extinctions
The ultimate impacts of ocean warming and acidity are the loss of productivity of phytoplankton, which maintain around half of the global oxygen levels, and also play a big role in CO2 removal from our atmosphere. Once phytoplankton activity is crippled, the CO2 that caused it is likely stay around longer.
Earth system recovery after mass extinction events is by a slow chemical "non-organic" process. This is by increased weathering rates from extreme rainfall events, taking carbon dioxide as carbonic acid from the air. This reacts away calcium silicate minerals in rocks, and eventually the carbon is reburied ocean sediments to form new rocks. This long term "Carbonate-Silicate" cycling is how earth systems pull down atmosphere CO2 into rocks, until it is cool enough for life to flourish again, and raise up the oxygen levels in the atmosphere.
The source figures are subject to errors of reporting. China for instance could be considered to have a larger real GDP, if its currency is undervalued by conversion factor to USA 2011 dollars. Real emissions may be greater, if some degree of under-reporting.
Global warming cannot be seriously addressed until the drive for investments in global growth are redirected.
Real wealth costs energy
Tim Garrett published technical modelling of civilization as a "heat engine", such that national power is the same as energy consumed, is the same as rate of wealth spend, on a global averaged basis. Wealth is defined as the accumulated energy-utilising infrastructure, our "investments", including the machines, dams, roads, buildings, possessions, all the stuff that we need to maintain if we expect to "use" it. Much of civilisation infrastructure cannot be maintained, as we reduce total energy throughput.
The "heat engine" is the result of the physics entropy law, such that all work is done by transformation of energy into heat that can no longer be used to do work.
I have shown in peer-reviewed studies published in Climatic Change, Earth System Dynamics, and Earth’s Future that the observed relationship between the current rate of energy consumption or power of civilization, and its total economic wealth (not the GDP), is a fixed constant of 7.1 ± 0.1 milliwatts per inflation-adjusted 2005 dollar.
Equivalently, every 2005 dollar requires 324 kiloJoules be consumed over a year to sustain its value.
To produce meaningful climate change mitigation, all people on earth must consume less energy, and lose most of their wealth, as defined by the yearly energy value of their money, which is currently defined for the most part by the ability to get work done by burning fossil fuels.
Nature's collapse will do this for us, by many global warming impacts, which will reduce the value of our money, and ultimately our global population size.