Perhaps the biggest phenomenon from a western view has been the rise of China as a superpower.
Internet services and applications, terrorism and wars in the middle east, oil, global warming politics, are some of the big things as well.
What will 2010 see? Well, my bet is that energy will be a big part of it. Oil is limited and is getting more expensive, coal is not. But coal is bad in the global warming sense. The big coal powers USA, China, Germany, UK, Canada, Australia at least are probably just going to keep burning it and not care what it does to the rest of the world.
During the noughties, CO2 rose from about 365 to 385 ppm. If the decadal rate is constant at 20 ppm per decade, then 600 ppm, a doubling from 1950s levels will require 215 ppm more, or about 110 years. Of course, the decadal emissions rate is probably going to accelerate. Local climate change phenomena will come earlier than things like significant sea level rise but it’s harder to point out that greenhouse gases are responsible for them. A fascinating experiment, this atmosphere alteration.
Didn’t your mother teach you not to draw linear trends? Firstly, carbon emissions will trail off. Why?
a) if you believe the Peak Oilers, there is only 10% of the amount of oil in the ground that the IPCC claims needs to be burned for their global warming disasturbation to happen.
b) nuclear, solar, and wind power will expand
d) the history of technology is that it is constantly increasing in efficiency.
e) GDP grows, population grows. GDP will shrink as population plateaus and ages. With population peaking in 2050 and dropping off from there, so will emissions even if we dont change our energy infrastructure.
Sea level rise is a hoax, btw. Nils-Axl Morner, former chair of the UN intergovernmental panel on sea level change concluded that the claims of the maldives and other island nations are fraudulent scams to get foreign aid. There is no significant sea level change.
Yeah, the linear is an if. One could use a more pessimistic exponential (1.something) trend that fits the last decade plus some somewhat better.
There’s still a huge amount of coal left and it’s easy to excavate and burn.
And GDP growth has been strongly linked with emissions growth in most countries, and is otherwise very highly correlated too.
The western population getting older is one big thing though and is a good point. Mega-recessions have been prognosticated by many because of that.
I don’t know much about current sea level change, I think it’s positive but not huge at the moment – it’s the future what’s more alarming. And I don’t have time to examine Morner right now.