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This is a game everyone can play. All you have to do is consider each of the suggestions below, and attribute odds to it. You can do this in terms of percentages, or racing odds. Are you ready?
What are the odds that:
- The global average surface temperature will be the same in thirty years time as it is today?
- The temperature will have risen by less than 0.3C?
- The temperature will have risen by 0.3-0.5C in 2040?
- The temperature will have risen by more than 0.5C by 2040?
- Something other than CO2 will be found to be the main driving force behind warming?
- CO2 will be found to be less important than is currently estimated?
- The relationship between all the forcings and feedbacks in the climate will be better understood and the role of CO2 as principle verified?
- Sea levels will rise 0-10cm on average by 2040?
- Sea level will rise 10-20cm by 2040?
- Sea level will rise 20cm or more by 2040?
- Annual average Arctic sea ice levels will be the same in 2040 as they are today?
- Annual average Arctic sea ice levels will decline by 5-10% by 2040?
- Annual average Arctic sea ice levels will decline by 10% or more, by 2040?
- There will be fewer Tropical Cyclones in the next thirty years than there were in the last thirty?
- There will be more TCs in the next thirty years than there were in the last thirty?
- There will be no significant change in the number of TCs in the next thirty years?
- Atmospheric CO2 levels in 2040 will be less than 425 ppm (current level = 384)?
- Levels will be between 425-450 ppm?
- Levels will be greater than 450 ppm?
- The world’s oceans will sustain as much or more life in thirty years as they do now?
- Ocean life will decline by 10-25% by 2040?
- Ocean life will decline by more than 30% by 2040?
- There will be as much forest in 2040 as there is today?
- Forest areas will decrease globally by up to 10%?
- Forest areas will decrease globally by more than 10%?
Write down your answers on a piece of paper. Compare your answers to those of your friends and/or colleagues.
What do the odds say about what the world is going to look like in 2040? What are the odds that the world will be no worse off in thirty years than it is today? What are the odds that the pattern of change in climate and eco/biosystems will continue or become more severe? What are the chances that the global generations of 2040 will live with an increased risk of loss, suffering, hunger or conflict?
I have no intention of proposing my own odds. This is for you to work out what sort of world you are expecting, and what sort of world we are creating for the future.
Edit: Normally, the Old Man avoids circular blogging, but in this case an exception is worthy: Tamino has made a scientist’s stab at playing the odds game, and there are the comments of others, too.