I wondered if it was possible to get a crude idea of the future and what is likely to happen based on a few scenarios, using only the climatic trends of the past and adding in the effect of renewable (or non CO2 emitting energy sources) and carbon capture on atmospheric CO2 concentrations. So I did a bit of maths and produced a few graphs, the output is very similar to other global warming projections, and the main take home message is we need to start capturing the CO2 that is already in the atmosphere to stand the slightest change of mitigating global warming. Personally I think our global "leaders" have let us down badly left it too late and we are destined to live in a very different paradigm.
The graphs and calculations were done in 2017 and we are still on track for the worst scenario "Very High Emissions" at the close of 2021 and I think with the current crop of intellectual inadequates at the helm of world governments this is unlikely to change.
The graphs may seem a little confusing but they are simple, here are the main points:-
- The black line is effectively energy demand, where all the demand is supplied by the fuel mix of 2018 (mostly fossil, some nuclear fission etc).
- The white area under black line represents new long term CO2 added to the atmosphere, the current trajectory adds 195,000,000,000 tonnes to the atmosphere which adds 25ppm to the concentration.
- The Blue represents the CO2 removed by the planet naturally (estimated 18 Gt per annum), planetary saturation is not considered here, but Earth has its limits, evidenced by the acidification of the oceans.
- The Lilac represent renewables and non CO2 emitting sources of energy, that substitute fossil fuel use. They must subsitute (not add), currently renewables seem to just add evidenced by the the fact that fossil fuel use continues to increase.
- The Green represents theoretical use of carbon capture, to remove atmospheric CO2. Personally I can see no other way as things stand.