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Global Warming Is Still Accelerating

By Thomas Neuburger

Your regular reminder that no one of consequence is doing anything about the issue of most consequence.

Look at the chart above (source here). It shows heating in the Atlantic Ocean. If the segment from 2020 to now doesn't look like acceleration to you, your optician may need to check out your prescription.

Here's related data. It shows the overall "energy imbalance" — energy in minus energy out, averaged over the whole of the planet. (The source is here.)

The timeline (x-axis) is short, showing just the last ten years. Starting around 2014, absorbed radiation ("energy in," the entire chart, yellow plus red-yellow) started climbing (accelerating). Around 2018, outgoing radiation ("energy out," shown in striped red) flattened. The result is an increase in the radiation retained (shown in pure yellow).

In 2004, energy retained was +0.4 W/m2 (Watts per square meter). Just ten years later, energy retained rose to +1.4 W/m2, a three-fold increase. Obvious acceleration.

Post-Climate GNP

Now consider this. World GNP — the economic sum of global economic activity — topped $100 trillion in 2022.

What's the sum of global economic activity after the population is reduced to a tenth or less and almost everyone is tribal and pre-agricultural? You would think it's close to zero.

So, how much of the current economy would you sacrifice to keep global GNP higher than absolute zero?

The answer, if one is cynical, may depend on whether "you" thought the collapse would come during your lifetime, of after you've died. The latter is the current assumption; thus, people are doing almost nothing that moves the big needle.

There are reasons for that, but in 50 years no one will ask what they are.


Mar 12

acceleration will not abate until someone DOES something to slow it down. And nobody at present, save a few like Greta, are even trying.

But even slowing down the rate of acceleration isn't DOING anything to fix it.


Mar 12

I have always worried that this issue is just too esoteric for dumber than shit, long maleducated americans to understand. I tried last year to explain a graph of this to someone who had zero capacity to understand anything about it.

In addition, it's going to be a tough ask for anyone that fucking stupid to care about something that won't kill them for 50 years or more. They are facing a lot more immediately palpable crises that nobody is doing jack shit about. Chief among them is yet another decade of stagnant wages while inflation hacks away at their ability to live. Women in 32 states have lost rights. An aging population that can't afford health CARE. A…

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