Climate Files 33 / The 4C Experiment

Tipping Points

Tipping Points

The Four Degrees C experiment has begun. We might reach a four degree rise in temps by 2070, or even earlier.  That was unheard of and thought to be impossible, until recently. Anything over 4 degrees will probably lead to tipping points and runaway climate change.

The finding was announced at a conference that took place from September 28th through the 30th, called 4 Degrees and Beyond.  (Website here).  This episode covers the Oxford conference on this scenario,  with the best scientists of the UK discussing our chances of adaptation and survival.

The conference is the first to consider the global consequences of climate change beyond 2°C.  Usually it’s not something scientists dare to discuss. The scientists you will hear in this episode are Prof John Schellnhuber (see his slides here),  Dr Richard Betts (slides here), and Dr. Myles Allen (see slides here).   Allen talked about a new approach to seeing the CO2 problem, as a cumulative effect, with no hard numbers and dates as deadlines.   The slides contain maps, graphs, and lots of supporting material for their talk, and the highlights of their talk. This conference was attended by over 130 scientists and climate specialists, and featured over 35 speakers, so there is a lot from the conference website you can listen to and read.

Other news covered included information on what to expect with a 2-6C degree temperature rise from Mark Lynas.   A controversial e-mail message buried by the Bush administration because of its conclusions on global warming surfaced Tuesday, nearly two years after it was first sent to the White House and never opened.  You can download the original letter here.  Senator Boxer said the Obama team might make a “climate pledge”  in Copenhagen.   Norway pledged 40% emissions cuts.   The Kashmir glaciers in India are shrinking at an ‘alarming’ speed.  And “CLIMATE CHANGE: Four Degrees of Devastation” is here.

Download this episode here or subscribe on the right.

Music:  Afrocelt Soundsystem, and the Tck Tck song, Beds are Burning, and video can be downloaded here.