AR5: Mind travel into the shit-pocalypse!

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a series of comic novels by Douglas Adams.

AR5 is the new Assessment Report (the 5th one!) from the IPCC – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

One is funny (really funny). The other is not. Do you know which one?

That’s right! It’s AR5. It’s actually about as far as it’s possible to be from funny, in that it gives a fairly good indication as to how humanity as a whole, over the last 250 years, has used the energy revolution to accidentally geo-engineer the climate to the extent that we (as a species) are staring down the barrel of a really big, hair triggered gun manufactured, loaded and cocked by ourselves.

Here are some phrases you can repeat to yourself in future years as you attempt to explain to your children, friends, acquaintances and anyone not trying to eat you what the heck is going on:

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”
“The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have
increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.
“Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is likely to exceed 1.5°C relative to 1850 to 1900 for all RCP scenarios except RCP2.6. It is likely to exceed 2°C for RCP6.0 and RCP8.5, and more likely than not to exceed 2°C for RCP4.5. Warming will continue beyond 2100
under all RCP scenarios except RCP2.6. Warming will continue to exhibit interannual-to-decadal

variability and will not be regionally uniform”

Also try to learn these – you’ll be hearing a lot more about them soon – and if not they’ll be seeking you out: positive feedbacks, albedo effect, radiative forcing, ocean acidification, arctic methane timebomb.

In the Hitchhikers Guide there is a machine called the Total Perspective Vortex. Reading an IPPC Assessment Report is a bit like the effect the machine has on the human brain (i.e. not good).

Which is probably why people don’t tend to do it.

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