Now there’s a hole in the sky
And the ground’s not cold
And if the ground’s not cold, everything is gonna burn
We’ll all take turns, I’ll get mine too — The Pixies, This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven
A rise of 7 degrees Fahrenheit compared with preindustrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists. Many coral reefs would dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Cape Charles and much of the Eastern Shore would be underwater without costly coastal defenses. Extreme heat waves would routinely smother large parts of the globe.
The draft statement, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), was written to justify President Trump’s decision to freeze federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks built after 2020. Assumed within the report is that it is too late to do anything–our fate is sealed.
The document projects that global temperature will rise by nearly 3.5 degrees Celsius above the average temperature between 1986 and 2005 regardless of whether Obama-era tailpipe standards take effect or are frozen for six years, as the Trump administration has proposed. The global average temperature rose more than 0.5 degrees Celsius between 1880, the start of industrialization, and 1986, so the analysis assumes a roughly 4 degree Celsius or 7 degree Fahrenheit increase from preindustrial levels.
The world would have to make deep cuts in carbon emissions to avoid this drastic warming,the analysis states. And that “would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels and would require the economy and the vehicle fleet to move away from the use of fossil fuels, which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible.”