California (and the world) in 3012, with massive warming

Almost a decade ago, Chris Wayan took the George W. Bush idea of how things should go on the planet — a Business as Usual scenario, but without nuclear disasters — and projected it, with sea level rise, on to maps of the world. He calls the result Dubia:

Suppose we avoid war, plague, and famine, and the world goes
democratic and capitalist? That appears to be the dream of President
George W. Bush
, or, as he's sometimes known, Dubya.

But part of Dubya's dream is that oil goes on ruling the world for
another generation. Despite all conservation attempts, carbon dioxide
go on soaring. Too many people burning too much fuel! Poor
countries industrializing will offset any efficiency-savings in rich

So our grandchildren live in a world with C02 levels double ours, 600-700 ppm. Double ya!

That world heats up. Climate zones move north until the poles thaw.
Greenland and Antarctica melt. Coastal nations are drowned. In the end,
the sea rises some 110 meters. Global hothouse! It's happened before, of
course, on this scale, but not in the last 50 million years or so.

But once the catastrophe's happened and the survivors replant, and
adjust to redwoods at the poles, and farms in Siberia, and jungles on
the prairies, and coral seas where great cities once stood… what if they don't change it back? After all, they may argue, why put the Earth through birth-pains TWICE? Double jeopardy! It's climate change, not climate, that's disrupts communities–both biological and political.

So… they leave the new world alone, to stabilize. We think of
global warming in the short range–the shock of change. But what's on
the far side? What would that world be like?

I couldn't resist–even though I admit that any climatological
projection this long-term and radical is inherently dubious…


Here's California and the Left Coast, complete with an inland sea where today swelters the Central Valley. Actually looks kind of appealing…if watery. 



Comment (1) Add yours ↓
  1. Steve Bloom

    I wish 600-700 ppm didn’t sound excessively optimistic.

    Nitpicks: Permanent ice didn’t start to form until the start of the Oligocene ~34 mya. Much more recently, in the Miocene, the ice was reduced to a small relict cap in Antarctica. The point is that an ice-free or nearly so state is not just common, but occurred recently and is actually prevalent over the longer term, so it’s the present cold period that’s the aberration. Also, the map seems too aggressive on extent of inundation, in particular regarding those large lakes.

    September 14, 2012 Reply

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