Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No!

Fabius Maximus website

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris climate was preceded by a surge of studies and articles warning of a dismal future if we do not take strong policy action. One scenario in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) provides the basis for these: RCP8.5. Even a casual examination of this shows it to be a useful worst-case scenario, but not “business as usual”. {Revised on 10 Dec 2015.}

World burning


  1. Scenarios looking at our future.
  2. RCP8.5, the stuff nightmares are made from.
  3. More good news about energy.
  4. Conclusions
  5. More news about the shift from coal.
  6. Other posts in this series.
  7. For More Information.

(1)  An introduction to scenarios about our future

In AR5 four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) describe scenarios for future emissions, concentrations, and land-use, ending with radiative forcing levels of 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5 W/m2 by 2100. Strong mitigation policies result in a low…

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