Global warming: The clock is ticking

Peter Edidin

By the year 2047, according to a recent paper published in Nature, the planet’s average temperature will be higher than the hottest temperatures recorded over the past century. At least, that what the headlines said. But the study’s authors were at pains to point out the uncertainties about the precise year when the earth will hit that tipping point, and about just how hot the earth will become.

In an editorial in the New York Times, EDF senior economist Gernot Wagner and Harvard economist Martin L. Weitzman argue that it’s precisely these uncertainties that should prompt action to put global emissions of greenhouse gases on a “sharply decreasing path.”

Read their op-ed, appropriately titled “Inconvenient Uncertainties.”

The two authors are also writing a book on the topic, titled Climate Shock, to be published next year by Princeton University Press.