Potential for temperature rise on land
A temperature rise of 3°C would likely stop all activities by humans, including their emissions, yet temperatures could keep rising.
Could temperatures keep rising?
Greenhouse gas concentrations this high are likely to keep adding ocean heat for some time, causing further melting of sea ice, etc.
All these metrics are important, including Earth’s energy imbalance, concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and monthly land only surface temperature anomalies.
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Altogether, the global temperature could rise by more than 18°C above pre-industrial within a few years, as also discussed at the Extinction page. Even the longer-term outlook doesn’t look promising. A 2020 analysis by Jorgen Randers et al. points out that, even if all greenhouse gas emissions by people could stop immediately and even if the temperature anomaly could fall to 0.5°C above pre-industrial, greenhouse gas levels would start rising again after 2150 and keep rising for centuries to come, while, as discussed in an earlier post, a 2016 analysis by Ganapolski et al. suggests that even moderate anthropogenic cumulative carbon dioxide emissions would cause an absence of the snow and ice cover in the next Milankovitch cycle, so there would be no buffer at the next peak in insolation, and temperatures would continue to rise, making the absence of snow and ice a permanent loss for millennia to come.
In an earlier post, the following question was also discussed: Could temperatures keep rising? This post concludes that surface temperatures on land could rise strongly over the next few years and drive humans into extinction as early as in 2025. Temperatures could continue to rise afterwards and drive most life on Earth into extinction soon thereafter, making it the more important to do the right thing now and help avoid the worst from happening, through comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan.
The disregard for science and democracy by those in power has now become so apparent and appalling that we, the people, must agree that the best way forward is to institute Local People’s Courts in which randomly-chosen residents administer local feebates, as a superior form of democracy and decision-making.
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• Another Record: Ocean Warming Continues through 2021 despite La Niña Conditions – by Lijing Cheng et al.
• Improved Quantification of the Rate of Ocean Warming – by Lijing Cheng et al.
• An earth system model shows self-sustained thawing of permafrost even if all man-made GHG emissions stop in 2020 – by Jorgen Randers et al.
• Could temperatures keep rising?
• Critical insolation–CO2 relation for diagnosing past and future glacial inception – by Andrey Ganapolski et al. (2016)
• NOAA – Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide – Mauna Loa, Hawaii
• Will COP26 in Glasgow deliver?
• Impact of interannual and multidecadal trends on methane-climate feedbacks and sensitivity – by Chin-Hsien Cheng et al.
• NOAA – ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions
• NOAA – Monthly Temperature Anomalies Versus El Niño
• Cataclysmic Alignment
• Methane rise is accelerating
• Runaway temperature rise by 2026?
• Clouds feedback