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Labor Day 2060: Endless summer

By Joe Romm  

"Labor Day 2060: Endless summer"

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Who ever would’ve guessed that there would be a Labor Day card for global warming.  But that is what SomeEcards are for:

Labor Day

But “The Onion” of e-card companies makes a serious point:  In the not-too-distant future, people are going to be amazed that anybody ever thought Labor Day signified the unofficial end of summer (see Our hellish future: Definitive NOAA-led report on U.S. climate impacts warns of scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 “” and that isn’t the worst case, it’s business as usual!“).

In a terrific March presentation, Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe has a figure of what staying on the business as usual emissions path (A1F1 or 1000 ppm) would mean (derived from the NOAA-led report):

US100f

Yes, absent a sharp and deep reduction in national and global emissions, by century’s end, Kansas (!) could well be above 100°F for three full months.  Labor Day will mean a return to those pleasant mid-to-upper 90s!

It truly will be an endless summer over much of Texas and Arizona and the Central Valley of California.

And it’ll be a hellish summer for much of the rest of the West by mid-century — see Climate change expected to sharply increase Western wildfire burn area “” as much as 175% by the 2050:

The percentage increase in area burned by wildfires, from the present-day to the 2050s, as calculated by the model of Spracklen et al. [2009] for the May-October fire season. The model follows a scenario of moderately increasing emissions of greenhouse gas emissions and leads to average global warming of 1.6 degrees Celsius (3 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050. Warmer temperatures can dry out underbrush, leading to more serious conflagrations in the future climate.”

If you’re wondering what the worst-case might look like, then the UK Met Office has what you are looking for:  Catastrophic climate change, 13-18°F over most of U.S. and 27°F in the Arctic, could happen in 50 years, but “we do have time to stop it if we cut greenhouse gas emissions soon.”

This is the “plausible worst case scenario” for around 2060 from the Met Office that occurs in 10% of model runs of high emissions with the carbon cycle feedbacks [temperature in degrees Celsius, multiple by 1.8 for Fahrenheit]:

Graphic of chnage in temperature

Now that is an endless global summer.

On the lighter side, these Someecards kill:

My door is always open if you ever want to talk about how you can get the fuck out of my office.

Happy holidays from someone using environmental friendliness as an excuse for being too cheap and lazy to send a real card.

‹ Fool me once, shame on Big Oil….

David Brooks: The Alternate History ›

15 Responses to Labor Day 2060: Endless summer

  1. Peter says:

    Thanks Joe

    very informative about the hell of a future facing us/our children/Grandchildren.

    And the ‘Card’- sent to my friends for Labor Day today- not as a joke- but as a dire warning.

  2. Chad says:

    But Joe, it was unusually *cool* here in the midwest earlier this weekend! I even had to wear a jacket Saturday night! Don’t you see how this one data point refutes your “peer-reviewed” graphs?

    *sarcasm off*

  3. jorleh says:

    Welcome to Finland. We had our record 37,2 C this summer.July end. We can calculate June – August 2020 – 2030 temperatures 30 – 40 C, 200 000 lakes and 7 weeks non stop sun, if you like a little cooler and choose the northern corner of our country. Perhaps Newsweek ranked Finland as the best country in the world for this reason?

  4. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    On the other side of the world: Last summer watering two days a week, this summer looks like 1 day/week. Could be worse on the other side of the country got to the stage of not being able to wash the car other than number plates, glass, lights and mirrors.

    The Doomsayer from downunder.

  5. Wit'sEnd says:

    from an excellent interview with Robert Jensen:

    http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/a_world_in_collapse/

    “To be fully alive today is to live with anguish, not for one’s own condition in the world but for the condition of the world, for a world that is in collapse.”

    “There are no replacement fuels on the horizon that will allow a smooth transition. These ecological realities will play out in a world structured by a system of nation-states rooted in the grotesque inequality resulting from imperialism and capitalism, all of which is eroding what is left of our collective humanity.”

    “I think not only leftists, but people in general, avoid these realities because reality is so grim. It seems overwhelming to most people, for good reason. So, rather than confront it, people find modes of evasion. One is to deny there’s a reason to worry, which is common throughout the culture. The most common evasive strategy I hear from people on the left is “technological fundamentalism”—the idea that because we want high-energy/high-tech solutions that will allow us to live in the style to which so many of us have become accustomed, those solutions will be found. That kind of magical thinking is appealing but unrealistic, for two reasons. First, while the human discoveries of the past few centuries are impressive, they have not been on the scale required to correct the course we’re on; we’ve created problems that have grown beyond our capacity to understand and manage. Second, those discoveries were subsidized by fossil-fuel energy that won’t be around much longer, which dramatically limits what we will be able to accomplish through energy-intensive advanced technology. As many people have pointed out, technology is not energy; you don’t replace energy with technology.”

  6. fj2 says:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/06/labor-less-day/

    It is really important initiate potentially appealing visions of what the future may have in store if we use good sense to mitigate climate change.

    Juliet Shor seems to address this in the video at this link and with the promise of more to come in her new book “Plentitude”

  7. adelady says:

    Steady on, doomsayer. From where I’m sitting we’re off, yes OFF, water restrictions this coming summer. And the Victorian floods are actually feeding into the Murray and, wonder of wonders, we might be able to stop dredging the mouth of the river for a little while.

    Putting on my gloomy face, I’m sure this respite will stiffen the spines of all those arguing that “the drought is over”, “everything’s back to normal”, nothing to see here, move along now, please, folks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I would love to see a trend line plotted that illustrates, retrospectively, just how much more dire forecasts have become over time — both in terms of the intensity of the predictions and their timing.

    If we started with forecasts from the early 90′s I would wager the line would be quite steep.

    Then I would like to see this extended to the future — assuming the same relative acceleration in error (or to put it another way the same bias toward conservative estimates) — it would provide a useful measuring stick of just how bad things are likely to get, and just how worse, worst case might be.

  9. Michael says:

    Glen, that article seems to blame the overnight lows solely on the UHI effect, which of course brings up that denier line.

    Also, regarding worst-case scenarios for warming by 2060, especially in the Arctic, it is likely that warming of 19°C/34°F or more will occur in the Arctic, since the last time CO2 levels were similar to today it was up to that much warmer (mean temperature near 0°C). The only reason why it hasn’t happened yet is because of lags and feedbacks (ice reflects sunlight, so the globe has to get warmer than the previously ice-free conditions before it melts, but once it does, it will have to get cooler than previously before it reforms).

    Arctic Climate May Be More Sensitive to Warming Than Thought, Says New Study

  10. glen says:

    Michael, you are correct

    The author should have generated a table with (at least 3) other locals 50 miles outside the metro area in the sonoran desert. That way, readers can decide for themselves what is attributable to climate and to UHI.

  11. David says:

    To borrow a quote from the prescient film Soylent Green:

    “How can anything survive in a climate like this? A heat wave all year long! The greenhouse effect! Everything is burning up!”

    It doesn’t look like that will be too far off the mark in fifty years, if humanity continues heading down the same path it is heading today.

  12. فوتبول says:

    its great informations about the hell of a future facing us/our children/Grandchildren
    i enjoyed with this top blog
    thanks

  13. Andy says:

    Two to four months of + 100 F weather in the SE and E U.S. means that we’re going to lose the eastern deciduous and southern pine forests. No question about it; they will go up during a drought in one almight conflagration before 2100 until we stop this now.

    Most of the western U.S. will be true desert. The high altitude grasslands of Wyoming will be desert; the ponderosa pine foot hills of the Rockies will be desert; the lodgepole kingdoms of the west will be scrub and sage if we’re lucky.

    It will be a very grim world. This so totally sucks.

  14. ozajh says:

    adelady #7,

    The dams are filling up here in Canberra as well.

    You are so right about the boost to the denialists (especially if Abbott becomes PM).