Reframing the climate change challenge

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Reframing the climate change challenge

This is a 2008 paper by K. Anderson and A. Bows. It questions the common way of framing of climate change policy in terms of keeping the rise of global temperatures below 2°C.

They claim that accomplishing this goal would require a "sea change in political orthodoxy", since it would require, at least, global energy related emissions to peak by 2015, rapidly decline at 6–8 per cent per year between 2020 and 2040, and for carbon emissions to completely end soon after 2050. In fact, they say:

the current framing of climate change cannot be reconciled with the rates of mitigation necessary to stabilize at 550 ppmv CO2e and even an optimistic interpretation suggests stabilization much below 650 ppmv CO2e is improbable.

Here 'CO2e' means CO2 equivalent, including other greenhouse gases.

(All this of course supports my belief that we'll be playing a difficult catch-up game in the late part of this century, with CO2 around 650 ppm or more.)

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