Carbon Budget 2022: “Nine Years to Save the Earth” from Climate Change

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Essay by Eric Worrall

According to the United Nations, gas projects launched in response to shortages created by the Ukraine war could destroy the world. Though we have an extra year over their 2019 11-year warning.

World has nine years to avert catastrophic warming, study shows

Scientists say gas projects discussed at U.N. climate conference would seriously threaten world’s climate goals

By Sarah Kaplan
Updated November 11, 2022, at 12:57 p.m. EST

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Nations will likely burn through their remaining carbon budget in less than a decade if they do not significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution, a new study shows, causing the world to blow past a critical warming threshold and triggering catastrophic climate impacts.

But new gas projects — launched in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting global energy crunch — would consume 10 percent of that remaining carbon budget, making it all but impossible for nations to meet the Paris agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, according to another report released Wednesday.

…Read more:

The abstract of the study.

Global Carbon Budget 2022

Friedlingstein, P., O’Sullivan, M., Jones, M. W., Andrew, R. M., Gregor, L., Hauck, J., Le Quéré, C., Luijkx, I. T., Olsen, A., Peters, G. P., Peters, W., Pongratz, J., Schwingshackl, C., Sitch, S., Canadell, J. G., Ciais, P., Jackson, R. B., Alin, S. R., Alkama, R., Arneth, A., Arora, V. K., Bates, N. R., Becker, M., Bellouin, N., Bittig, H. C., Bopp, L., Chevallier, F., Chini, L. P., Cronin, M., Evans, W., Falk, S., Feely, R. A., Gasser, T., Gehlen, M., Gkritzalis, T., Gloege, L., Grassi, G., Gruber, N., Gürses, Ö., Harris, I., Hefner, M., Houghton, R. A., Hurtt, G. C., Iida, Y., Ilyina, T., Jain, A. K., Jersild, A., Kadono, K., Kato, E., Kennedy, D., Klein Goldewijk, K., Knauer, J., Korsbakken, J. I., Landschützer, P., Lefèvre, N., Lindsay, K., Liu, J., Liu, Z., Marland, G., Mayot, N., McGrath, M. J., Metzl, N., Monacci, N. M., Munro, D. R., Nakaoka, S.-I., Niwa, Y., O’Brien, K., Ono, T., Palmer, P. I., Pan, N., Pierrot, D., Pocock, K., Poulter, B., Resplandy, L., Robertson, E., Rödenbeck, C., Rodriguez, C., Rosan, T. M., Schwinger, J., Séférian, R., Shutler, J. D., Skjelvan, I., Steinhoff, T., Sun, Q., Sutton, A. J., Sweeney, C., Takao, S., Tanhua, T., Tans, P. P., Tian, X., Tian, H., Tilbrook, B., Tsujino, H., Tubiello, F., van der Werf, G. R., Walker, A. P., Wanninkhof, R., Whitehead, C., Willstrand Wranne, A., Wright, R., Yuan, W., Yue, C., Yue, X., Zaehle, S., Zeng, J., and Zheng, B.

Received: 26 Sep 2022 – Discussion started: 29 Sep 2022 – Revised: 14 Oct 2022 – Accepted: 14 Oct 2022 – Published: 11 Nov 2022


Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere in a changing climate is critical to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe and synthesize data sets and methodologies to quantify the five major components of the global carbon budget and their uncertainties. Fossil CO2 emissions (EFOS) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, while emissions from land-use change (ELUC), mainly deforestation, are based on land use and land-use change data and bookkeeping models. Atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly, and its growth rate (GATM) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The ocean CO2 sink (SOCEAN) is estimated with global ocean biogeochemistry models and observation-based data products. The terrestrial CO2 sink (SLAND) is estimated with dynamic global vegetation models. The resulting carbon budget imbalance (BIM), the difference between the estimated total emissions and the estimated changes in the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere, is a measure of imperfect data and understanding of the contemporary carbon cycle. All uncertainties are reported as ±1σ.

For the year 2021, EFOS increased by 5.1 % relative to 2020, with fossil emissions at 10.1 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1 (9.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1 when the cement carbonation sink is included), and ELUC was 1.1 ± 0.7 GtC yr−1, for a total anthropogenic CO2 emission (including the cement carbonation sink) of 10.9 ± 0.8 GtC yr−1 (40.0 ± 2.9 GtCO2). Also, for 2021, GATM was 5.2 ± 0.2 GtC yr−1 (2.5 ± 0.1 ppm yr−1), SOCEAN was 2.9 ± 0.4 GtC yr−1, and SLAND was 3.5 ± 0.9 GtC yr−1, with a BIM of −0.6 GtC yr−1 (i.e., the total estimated sources were too low, or sinks were too high). The global atmospheric CO2 concentration averaged over 2021 reached 414.71 ± 0.1 ppm. Preliminary data for 2022 suggest an increase in EFOS relative to 2021 of +1.0 % (0.1 % to 1.9 %) globally and atmospheric CO2 concentration reaching 417.2 ppm, more than 50 % above pre-industrial levels (around 278 ppm). Overall, the mean and trend in the components of the global carbon budget are consistently estimated over the period 1959–2021, but discrepancies of up to 1 GtC yr−1 persist for the representation of annual to semi-decadal variability in CO2 fluxes. Comparison of estimates from multiple approaches and observations shows (1) a persistent large uncertainty in the estimate of land-use change emissions, (2) a low agreement between the different methods on the magnitude of the land CO2 flux in the northern extratropics, and (3) a discrepancy between the different methods on the strength of the ocean sink over the last decade. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new global carbon budget and the progress in understanding of the global carbon cycle compared with previous publications of this data set. The data presented in this work are available at (Friedlingstein et al., 2022b).

Executive summary

The remaining carbon budget for a 50 % likelihood to limit global warming to 1.5, 1.7, and 2C has, respectively, reduced to 105 GtC (380 GtCO2), 200 GtC (730 GtCO2), and 335 GtC (1230 GtCO2) from the beginning of 2023, equivalent to 9, 18, and 30 years, assuming 2022 emissions levels. Total anthropogenic emissions were 11.0 GtC yr−1 (40.2 GtCO2 yr−1) in 2021, with a preliminary estimate of 11.1 GtC yr−1 (40.5 GtCO2 yr−1) for 2022. The remaining carbon budget to keep global temperatures below these climate targets has shrunk by 32 GtC (121 GtCO2) since the IPCC AR6 Working Group 1 assessment based on data up to 2019. Reaching zero CO2emissions by 2050 entails a total anthropogenic CO2 emissions linear decrease by about 0.4 GtC (1.4 GtCO2) each year, comparable to the decrease during 2020, highlighting the scale of the action needed.

…Read more: Global Carbon Budget 2022, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 14, 4811–4900

To be fair, the UN is trying to be more consistent about this warning, unlike previous warnings. In 2019 they issued an 11-year warning, so they’ve only nudged this 9-year warning forward by one year – perhaps a silent acknowledgement of the growing pause in global warming?

Obviously at some point the current nine-year warning will have to be radically updated or quietly forgotten, like they forgot the 1989 UN 10-year climate warning. In a few years, when it becomes obvious nothing bad is happening, a slight revision like the one-year extension tacked onto the 2019 warning simply won’t do.

But who knows, perhaps by then people will be worrying themselves sick about some other allegedly world threatening crisis.

via Watts Up With That?

November 14, 2022

Carbon Budget 2022: “Nine Years to Save the Earth” from Climate Change — Watts Up With That?