The world could warm by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by 2052, and 2.8 degrees by 2080, according to a new report by the Club of Rome think tank.
The lack of action from governments and markets will allow the temperature rise, even if the population peaks at 8.1 billion and economic growth slows down considerably.
“It is unlikely that governments will pass necessary regulation to force the markets to allocate more money into climate-friendly solutions, and (we) must not assume that markets will work for the benefit of humankind,” said Jorgen Randers, author of the report and professor of climate strategy at the Norwegian School of Management.
“We are emitting twice as much greenhouse gases every year as are absorbed by the world’s forests and oceans. This overshoot will worsen and will peak in 2030.”
The Club of Rome is composed of business and political figures and scientists, focusing on and analyzing problems like limits to economic growth, limited resources, and employment.
Two climate scientists who had read the report said that the findings were probably in the right range and accurate.
The University of Oxford and Princeton University released a similar report last week saying there was going to be a 1.4C-3C rise in temperature by 2050.
Scientists have said that, if warming over 2C occurs, there will be catastrophic changes across the globe, and a large increase in weather extremes and disasters.
International agreements have been made between various countries to try to limit warming to 2C or less. But not much has changed in the actual government policies, industrial practices, or continuing rise in emissions.
Emissions are rising dramatically amongst developing economies such as Brazil, India, and South Africa.
China’s growth is still continuing rapidly — its per capita consumption is projected to be at least 2/3 that of the United States by 2052.
“This growth will improve living standards for many, but it will come at a cost for the global climate. While growth will not be as explosive as in China, it will still be heavy enough to keep emissions from these nations growing until the 2040s,” he added.
The economies of the United States and Europe are projected to either remain stable or decline in consumption, helping to not stress the limited supplies of oil, food, and water.
The United Nations Environment Program has projected that, by 2020, yearly emissions will be 6-11 billion tons over the limits that would allow a ‘safe’ level of warming.
The International Energy Agency has also warned that the world won’t be able to stop temperature rise if drastic international action isn’t taken by 2017, because so many new fossil fuel power plants and factories are still being built.
At the earliest, an international agreement to limit emissions would only be agreed upon by 2015, and put into practice by 2020, which is seen by many scientists as being too late to avoid drastic changes in the climate.