Last updated on October 23, 2019
Chances are that when you wake up today you will likely experience a blast furnace if you dare step outside, not only in your neck of the woods but, across massive swaths of the Earth will suffer as well. You will probably hope that the power grid holds up. I know I do.
According to the National Weather Service, more than 126 million were under severe heat warnings and another 23,000,000 million are under a heat advisory today. Relief should begin tomorrow, the east coast, however, will roast over the entire weekend.
Joe Romm in a must-read article explains exactly why Trump’s high emissions policies will kill billions of people, by putting us on a trajectory for the worst-case IPCC scenario.
‘On killing billions’ is my statement and it is is not hyperbole but scientific fact. We simply can’t allow a high emission scenario to occur if we have any hope of saving some of what is still left. Yet, that is what the pallin-around-with-pedophiles President has chosen to do to us.
He has to be removed from office, Mitch McConnel has to be neutered and starting in 2021 we must burst out of the gate with a climate action plan to be implemented immediately (see Senator Schatz’s embedded tweet below).
From The Atlantic on the worst-case scenario:
“We’re actually a lot closer than we should be; I can say that with confidence,” says Rob Jackson, an Earth scientist at Stanford and the chair of the Global Carbon Project, which leads the research tracking worldwide emissions levels.
When climate scientists want to tell a story about the future of the planet, they use a set of four standard scenarios called “representative concentration pathways,” or RCPs. RCPs are ubiquitous in climate science, appearing in virtually any study that uses climate models to investigate the 21st century. They’ve popped up in research about subjects as disparate as southwestern mega-droughts, future immigration flows to Europe, and poor nighttime sleep quality.
Each RCP is assigned a number that describes how the climate will fare in the year 2100. Generally, a higher RCP number describes a scarier fate: It means that humanity emitted more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the 21st century, further warming the planet and acidifying the ocean. The best-case scenario is called RCP 2.6. The worst case is RCP 8.5.
“God help us if 8.5 turns out to be the right scenario,” Jackson told me. Under RCP 8.5, the world’s average temperature would rise by 4.9 degrees Celsius, or nearly 9 degrees Fahrenheit. “That’s an inconceivable increase for global temperatures—especially when we think about them being global average temperatures,” he said. “Temperatures will be even higher in the northern latitudes, and higher over land than over the ocean.”
Dangerous combinations of high temperatures and humidity will push the “heat index” (what the temperature “feels like”) past 100 degrees Fahrenheit from the Dakotas down to Texas and across to Maine and Florida, an area encompassing well over half of the country’s population.
But as countless studies have made clear, the kind of extreme heat waves this country, Europe, and elsewhere have been experiencing this summer and last, have been made more intense and more likely thanks to human-caused global warming.
In fact, a peer-reviewed study published this week warns that if we don’t reverse emissions trends quickly and sharply, we will see a rise in unprecedented heat waves that will “break” the National Weather Service’s heat index scale.
The researchers warn we will face extended scorchers more brutal than the United States has ever experienced before. In several decades, parts of Florida and Texas could experience a heat index for five or more months per year exceeding 100 degrees, “with most of these days even surpassing 105 degrees.”
But, also under this scenario, the temperature of the warmest five-day period during a once-in-a-decade heat wave is projected to rise some 12 degrees just by mid-century (2036–2065). So we’ll soon be suffering through even worse heat waves than we are now seeing — and our children will see even more devastating ones.
The NCA scientists explain that to achieve the low-emissions scenario, not only does every nation — including the United States — have to meet its Paris climate pledge. But, we all also have to keep ratcheting down the targets “with continually increasing ambition” until global emissions of carbon pollution are near zero by century’s end.
The Politicus is a collaborative political community that facilitates content creation directly on the site. Our goal is to make the political conversation accessible to everyone.Any donations we receive will go into writer outreach. That could be advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit or person-to-person outreach on College campuses. Please help if you can: