The latest MIT study of global warming has now been published in the Journal of Climate, and its conclusions are grim. The chart on the right shows their new projections (in red) compared to previous projections (in blue). (The heavy lines are the median projections; the lighter lines are the 5% and 95% percentiles.) In the middle latitudes, they project warming of nearly 5ºC compared to previous projections of about 2ºC. At the poles, they project warming of 8-10ºC compared to 5-6ºC.
Why the change? Joe Romm summarizes the technical explanation: “The carbon sinks are saturating, and the amplifying feedbacks are worse than previously thought.”
Is Waxman-Markey enough to stop this? Not even close. Will anything we do make a difference if we don’t get the rest of the world on board? Nope. Does that mean we should give up? Or continue wanking away on cost-benefit studies that still assume a 2ºC rise over the next century? Or join the GOP buffoon caucus in pretending that CO2 is harmless because otherwise they wouldn’t put it in Coca-Cola? No, no, and no. It means we have to work even harder to strengthen Waxman-Markey and then press the rest of the world to follow suit. The time for wanking is way past over.