We are now living 15 years after the global warming apocalypse.
Well, at least according to a top United Nations official who warned that “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth” by the year 2000 if nothing was done to stop global warming.
The dire warning came from a top U.N. official in 1989, warning that mankind only had a 10-year window to stop global warming before it went beyond human ability to reverse. But 15 years after the warning, no nations have been wiped off the planet because of global warming, and global temperatures have not warmed nearly as much as most climate models predicted.
The San Jose Mercury News reported on June 30, 1989 that a “senior environmental official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.”
Brown, who was the director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, warned that “[c]oastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ‘eco-refugees,’ threatening political chaos.” Brown added that “governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human” ability to stop it.
But 2000 came and went with little fanfare, and not a single nation has been “wiped out” or even come close.
The New York Times reported last November that global warming-induced food shortages had already toppled governments, but then quickly retracted the remark because the claim is not true.
U.N. officials and climate scientists, however, are still warning that sea level rise threatens to flood coastal cities and that more extreme weather events will create millions of climate refugees.
“Climate change is a threat to our very existence,” writes Michael Møller, acting head of U.N.’s Geneva office. “Wherever we live and whatever we do. We all contribute to it. And we all have a responsibility to do something about it.”
The U.N. and other groups are calling for countries to drastically cut carbon dioxide emissions to avoid warming of 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era.
“We have no time to waste, and much to gain by moving quickly down a lower-carbon pathway. All countries must be part of the solution if we are to stay below the 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise threshold,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.
The International Energy Agency says that 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions must be cut to avoid warming over 2 degrees Celsius — meaning that fossil fuels would either have to be totally revamped or done away with completely to meet the 2 degree threshold.
“A continuation of current trends – which saw overall electricity emissions increase by 75% between 1990 and 2011, due to rising demand but little change in emissions intensity – would dangerously drive up electricity-related emissions,” IEA found in a recent report.
But what the U.N. and IEA leave out is that carbon dioxide emissions stemming from fossil fuel use has skyrocketed since 2000 — the predicted doomsday. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have grown from about 370 parts per million in 2000 to more than 400 parts per million in February 2015.
But while CO2 concentrations have skyrocketed, global average temperatures have stagnated for the last 15 to 20 years depending on what measurements are used. Surface temperature data shows little to no warming trend for the last 15 years or so.
Satellite data, which measures the lowest parts of Earth’s atmosphere, shows warming stalled for more than 18 years.
[h/t Real Science]