Global Warming: Not Reversible, But Stoppable

Originally posted at Skeptical Science

Let’s start with two skill-testing questions:

1. If we stop greenhouse gas emissions, won’t the climate naturally go back to the way it was before?

2. Isn’t there “warming in the pipeline” that will continue to heat up the planet no matter what we do?

The correct answer to both questions is “no”.

Global warming is not reversible but it is stoppable.

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Alberta’s bitumen sands: “negligible” climate effects, or the “biggest carbon bomb on the planet”?

Originally posted at Skeptical Science

  • The climate effects of bitumen development are significant once viewed in the perspective of probable emissions over the rest of this century.
  • The climate impact of coal consumption is greater than that of bitumen, particularly when non-mineable coal is considered.
  • Accelerated expansion of bitumen extraction will make climate mitigation efforts much more difficult.
  • Because of its high carbon emissions and high extraction costs, further bitumen development would not be viable if stringent global emissions policies were adopted.

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World Energy Outlook 2011: “The door to 2°C is closing”

Originally posted at Skeptical Science

If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re heading

These words come from the Executive Summary of the World Energy Outlook 2011 (WEO11), just published by the International Energy Agency(IEA). The study incorporates the most recent data on global energy trends and policies, and investigates the economic and environmental consequences of three scenarios over the 2010 to 2035 time period. This is an important document that should be widely read but, unfortunately, the full report costs €120 for a single-user 650-page pdf.  Some key graphs and fact sheets are provided for free.

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