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FOR THE MOST PART climate change scientists fo not extend their predictions beyond 2100. Mainly this is a result that beyond 2100 will be determined by what we do in the next few decades and that is unknown. I have touched on this several times simply by the difficulties I see of doing almost anything really substantial now, and therefore I am worried about possible runaway situations this century.

HOWEVER, NUMBERS OF ARTICLES AND PAPERS do look ahead at longer time-frames. In particular Rob Wilder and Dan Kammen take the long view in their on-line opinion piece in YaleEnvironment360 in a commentary dated September 12, 2017. Their focus is on situations in which emissions stay approximately on their current path for several decades. This is not very different from the position I take, except they lean in the pessimistic direction as a result of observations of what is happening at the time they wrote this piece.


Climate change projections often focus on 2100. But the geological record shows that unless we rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will be locking in drastic increases in temperatures and sea levels that will alter the earth not just for centuries, but for millennia.

If getting the public, the media, and politicians to pay attention to what might happen to our planet in 2100 seems hard enough, it’s even more difficult to focus on how high — according to the latest research — sea levels may be only a couple of centuries in the future. Yet recent findings lend urgency to the need to contemplate what the world might look like 200 or 300 years from now if greenhouse gas emissions are not brought under control. “Urgent” may seem like a wildly inappropriate word when applied to such a long span of time, but the truth is that humanity’s continuing failure to bring our enormous carbon emissions under control will have planet-altering impacts that could continue not just for hundreds, but thousands, of years.[emphasis supplied]

BY ROB WILDER AND DAN KAMMEN • SEPTEMBER 12, 2017, Yale Environment360

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Long-term global mean sea-level change for the past 20,000 years (black line) and projections for the next 10,000 years, based on four possible carbon emission scenarios (1,280, 2,560, 3,840, and 5,120 gigatons). The illustration shows current and projected ice sheet extent on Greenland and Antarctica. CLARK ET AL. 2017.

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