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I found this first on FireDogLake: the International Energy Agency (IEA), an appendage of OECD and considered an authority on energy and climate issues up there with the IPCC, has revised its predictions for the extent of global warming upwards ... FAR upwards. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at their present rate, they expect the global average temperature to rise by SIX degrees Celsius by 2100.

For perspective: the projections considered most probably anticipate only 3 degrees C of temperature increase over the same time period. The only precedent for such a radical change in the Earth's climate is the Permian mass extinction that killed 95% of all species of life ... and it took tens of thousands of years for temperatures to rise that high. We're on track to do the same in less than a hundred

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Part of what makes this scenario so unpleasant to contemplate is the fact that the IEA's model suggests that First World nations are more or less powerless to avert this catastrophe. North America and Europe are expected to amount to only 3% of the increased emissions. The remaining 97% is expected to come from the developing world - China and India especially - as they continue to industrialize and consume as much as they can afford. If the developing world follows in our footsteps, it will not be possible to prevent catastrophic global warming on our own, not even if we go carbon-neutral and reduce our [net] emissions to zero.

Based on the amount of greenhouse gases already emitted over the last 150 years and their affects on the ecosystem, as much as 2 degrees Celsius of global average temperature rise is already committed, as in there's nothing we can do to stop it.

Ladies, gentlemen, and 20-somethings, our children could be the last generation of human beings, and it's not up to us. The developing world simply MUST be prevented from making our old mistakes and dooming us all.

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Originally posted to Visceral on Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 07:11 PM PST.

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