The Ghost of Christmas Future is a beastly ghost with unseen features.
Unlike Scrooge, we don’t get a spirit to show us what the future holds if we don’t change our ways.
That’s what we have science for. In recent years, observations have confirmed the key projections climate scientists have been making for decades. But some of the most important impacts have been occurring much faster than scientists expected, including sea level rise. As recently as a decade ago, scientists did not expect that the great ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica would melt enough this century to contribute much to total sea level rise. Now, observations suggest they will be a primary if not the primary driver of sea level rise.
Yes, it seems unlikely that we will adopt the aggressive but near-zero-net-cost policies needed to stabilize at 450 ppm atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, and then quickly come back to 350 ppm, thanks in large part to the deniers, along with their political pals and media enablers. But the two biggest carbon polluters (China and U.S.) have struck a game-changing deal that could ultimately avoid some of the worst impacts — if other key countries join in and, then all countries pursue even stronger emissions cuts in the coming decades.
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