back to article World Bank says world likely to warm by four degrees

The World Bank has issued a report, titled Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4oC Warmer World Must Be Avoided” (PDF), in which it says the planet is on course for four-degree (celsius), anthropomorphically-induced, temperature rise that cannot be avoided with current greenhouse abatement schemes. Compiled by two groups, the Potsdam …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Huh, usually Lewis Page does the global warming reports. I wonder why he didn't write this one up...

    1. Corinne

      Not so...

      True that Lewis does just about all the more "sceptical" articles, at least those that suggest that there may be other causes of climate change than purely human actions, but I think you'll find that there are a couple of El Reg reporters who do stuff on the subject - Rik Myslewski & Brid-Aine Parnell are 2 who have articles linked to at the bottom of this one & have done others. I'm sure there are others, but I can't be naffed right now to search through the archives.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. danR2

        I withdrew this item long before it was posted. I don't know why it's here.

  2. Cartman

    who writes this crap?

    Word Bank, I bet they have plenty of scientists. Postdam is a lunatic asylum:

  3. Paul J Turner

    The obvious first step..

    would be to reduce the human population. But that would mean less money being generated, leading to less banking and less fat pensions for pollies, so you can bet your bottom dollar that won't be happening.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: The obvious first step..

      The whole shebang is driven by the fallacious notions that (a) GDP is a good proxy for quality of life and (b) that growth is good, staying in the status quo is bad, contraction is disastrous.

      In reality, if developed countries kept more or less their status quo but improved efficiency, quality of life would stay high and other countries' QOL could also go up without increasing resource consumption through better efficiencies. Of course, this mostly depends on external energy input. The earth has only so much resources and there's a limit on how much humans it can support. Now, when that limit is reached, will it be supporting X billion people with a hig quality of life, or 10X billion people living in misery?

  4. Charles Manning

    Don't look over here....

    ... at the international financial messes partly created by World Bank that is biting people right now.

    Look over there at the climate stuff that might cause 2 degree warming within a hundred years.

    Ok, that didn't get your attention. Look over there at the climate stuff that might cause 4 degree warming in 50 years.

  5. PT

    Duh, they're BANKERS

    In other words, go full speed ahead with carbon cap and trade. You know it makes sense!

  6. Ron 6

    World Bank? Yeah, the money sector is where I go for my daily weather too... LMAO!

  7. jake Silver badge


    What does a "let's sieve pennies out of ignorant idiots bank accounts" bunch of home-boys have to do with long-term global weather forecasting?

    Honestly, the mind boggles ...

    1. Omgwtfbbqtime



  8. Anonymous Coward

    Reducing poverty and fighting global warming go hand in hand for the World Bank

    One favored solution of the AGW crowd is for those living an energy hogging Western lifestyle to reduce their energy consumption by reducing their standard of living. This automatically reduces the gap between the haves and have nots. If you take enough away from the haves that they become indistinguishable from the have nots, then you can't claim the have nots are still living in poverty because they are no worse off than everyone else. Thus poverty is eliminated!

    1. itzman

      Re: Reducing poverty and fighting global warming go hand in hand for the World Bank

      the only way to fairly leave a planet on good shape for our children is to give all our money to the EU/Green party and then commit suicide. Preferable is to become homosexual and not have any children. It will become compulsory shortly

  9. Majid

    To boldly overpopulate like no race has overpolutated before.

    Don't worry about a 4 degree temperature rise. It's not the cause, it is the consequence of us, breeding like rabbits.

    Sure we can spread wealth around, I guess everyone can live on 2 sandwiches a day and some water. Maybe that way we can increase the population with 10 more billion silly organisms. But maybe we should re-examine our goals.

    1. Silverburn
      Thumb Up

      Re: To boldly overpopulate like no race has overpolutated before.

      Almost correct - we do indeed bread like rabbits, but that causes poverty more than anything else. The developed world birthrate is far less than that in africa/india etc, but the CO2 emissions are far higher per capita.

      Less reliance on hydrocarbons (for energy, materials or agriculture) would be a far better ideology.

      Breading like rabbits is still not a wise life choice though...

      1. Flatpackhamster

        Re: To boldly overpopulate like no race has overpolutated before.

        If you're going to bread your rabbits, I advise you to dip them in flour first, then beaten egg, to ensure that the bread sticks to them. Otherwise the bread will drop off when the rabbits are fried.

      2. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: To boldly overpopulate like no race has overpolutated before.

        "Breading like rabbits "

        No thanks, I don't like my rabbit breaded. Marinaded in wine and fried in garlic is a lot better

        1. itzman

          Re: To boldly overpopulate like no race has overpolutated before.

          Rabbit vindaloo is the only answer

  10. Corinne

    Dilemma for them

    I can see a slight bit of missing logic in here. The preposition is that mankind's industrial activity is causing this Global Warming, so we need to reduce this to prevent the warming & thus save people living in poverty from the effects. But reducing power generation & consumption is likely to lead to a DROP in the standard of living for everyone - more expensive/less manufacturing means poorer people's standards are hit first.

    At the same time some of the higher polluting countries are those with higher numbers of people living in poverty; people complain about the wages & standards of living of workers in China, for example, but there would be even fewer jobs & a lower standard of living if they didn't have all those cheap dirty power stations pumping pollutants into the atmosphere.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dilemma for them

      "reducing power generation & consumption is likely to lead to a DROP in the standard of living for everyone "

      Reducing power generation and consumption is only likely to lead in a drop in standard of living when you're living very efficiently and the drop will cut into your essentials. In reality it's possible for most of the western world to cut 30-50% off their energy consumption without affecting standard of living. For example US consumes huge amount more per capita than Western Europe, but most of W Europe has equal or higher standard of living.

      Also, a HUGE amount of energy consumption goes into purchase of unneeded cheap made in China tat that's used for a few months and discarded, I'm sure there's huge further efficiency savings to be made in cutting out unnecessary consumption (how many of last year's Christmas presents do you still have and/or use? the year before? 5 years back?)

      1. Corinne

        Re: Dilemma for them

        Maybe I didn't phrase myself clearly James - most people in the Western world could reduce their consumption (though I'd rather use the same amount of nuclear generated energy), but the people who will be hit hardest by an overall drop in generation will be the poorer people caused by a mixture of them being the ones who are most dependant on the "dirtiest" forms of generation, and the loss of any income when the richer nations stop buying the "unnecessary consumption" products they make.

  11. danR2

    Bank-Boffins Vie with IPPCC for biggest thermocalypse.

    Here we go again. Now the World Bank has a degree in global warming alarmism.

    Because the IPPCC was quietly rebuked by a blue-ribbon review panel for advocacy (newspeak for activism), ecomania needs expression from some body or other that can claim some authority, or other.

    It's like: if you can't get the car-buying message from Consumer's Reports, just listen to your favorite football player.

  12. John Savard Silver badge

    Everybody's Not Talking

    Cutting energy use massively would also harm the world's poorest people - although different ones, affecting China more, and tropical countries with few non-food exports less.

    The only good alternative, in my opinion, is a massive switch to nuclear power. Good luck getting people to agree to that - if both major parties in countries like the U.S. and Britain were firmly committed to such a strategy, so that political campaigns against it would be ineffective, it could happen... but these days, bipartisan support for the obviously necessary no longer can be counted upon.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's a great scheme.

    Let's eliminate cheap energy in the 3rd world, so these poor people find it hard to compete and grow their economies. That same cheap energy that was responsible for the growth of the 1st world.

    How do we do it?

    Well, here is a loan from the World Bank. Please invest the money into expensive low carbon alternative energy.

    The great news? They are going to have to pay the money back! Lol. We get them to hamper their own economic development, and make them foot the bill for it as well!! Sheer genius.

    If anyone thinks that the 'World Bank' has anything to do with the 'World', think again. It's mostly US funded, US controlled, and crucially the US can veto anything the 'World Bank' does if it appears to be going against US interests.

  14. Chris007


    An organisation that stands to benefit greatly from any "investment" in trying to reduce [man made] CO2, which is not likely to be causing climate change quoting from sources that have already been greatly discredited.

    who'd've thunk it

  15. JohnMurray

    Got banking wrong: Start on climate as well.


    When they get banking right they can then start on climate.

    Until then, I suggest they go practice self flagellation.

  16. Khaptain Silver badge

    The World Fucking Bank

    The World Bank has one goal - TO MAKE ITSELF RICHER.......

    * A poor man will go to jail for stealing in order to feed himself.

    * A banker will steal for "greed" and then we allow him to buy another Porsche/Yacht/Luxury item.

    I am not advocating a communist society but it has become extremely vague where capitalism is heading.

  17. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    "The science is unequivocal that humans are the cause of global warming"

    I stopped reading at that sentence. I'm not averse to the *hypothesis* that this is true, but I am truly averse to stating it as unequivocal fact.

    And, again, assuming it's true the solution is? What precisely? Stop using energy? Which will be worse for the world (in terms of deaths, disease, technology, etc.) than not doing anything? And how do we *know* that the temperature won't just keep on rising even if we *do* do that?

    Puff-piece, again. Gimme some data (that isn't disputed down to the individual datum), gimme some hypothesis about the cause of that data (that can reliably predict the next, say, year's data), gimme some solution that fits that hypothesis and hypothesise the result of that solution, implement that solution small-scale and predict (within a reasonable accuracy) the results of that solution (which should be for the better and not have major worldwide sacrifices liable to harm millions), and then maybe, just maybe, we can talk about pushing legislation through to change that across our country (and then, later, the world).

    Realised that that's going to take 50-100 years to do, yet, even with all the funding in the world? People realised that 50-100 years ago, and not one prediction, not one hypothesis, not one solution panned out.

    This is NOT a simple problem (if true), and the solution is even less simple and probably has MORE impact on us as a civilisation than a 4 degree rise in temperature (which we almost certainly have survived many times already and will survive again). And until you can prove, beyond some reasonable point, otherwise you're just being heard as political machinations with ulterior motives.

    P.S. On a side-note, I watched my boss fend off a solar-panel company who wanted to blanket a large school in solar panels (at no real advantage to anyone except the solar-panel company) and also, as an afterthought, tried to sell us a "voltage optimiser" (which is a device that "lowers voltages to save power" with due disregard to the fact that 99% of the loads you put on it would just draw more current if you did that anyway). That's the sort of category I'm putting most of the "green" plans into of late. I'm sure back in the 60's and 70's they weren't quite so crackpot, just misguided.

  18. David Pollard

    Nuclear Investment

    It continues to baffle me that while it's possible for consumers to buy so-called 'green' electricity there are no options to assert a preference for nuclear generation, for example by providing capital for new plant.

    If one in fifteen households were to commit to such a scheme in the UK, to guarantee reduced prices over the next 40 years, it would take about £2,000 each to pay for a whole new power station, and payments could be made over three or four years. That's rather less than the cost of installing double glazing.

    1. itzman

      Re: Nuclear Investment

      Im up for it.

  19. NomNomNom

    I suspect 4C will be an underestimate

    1. Chris Miller

      I suspect 4C will be an overestimate - suspicious lot, aren't we.

      1. NomNomNom

        I didn't see any date in the article so I was thinking total warming in the longterm.

        I think it's optimistic to think it'll be limited to 4C. I can see CO2 easily rising beyond 1000ppm. Some people argue there's not enough fossil fuels, but new discoveries keep being made and new types of fossil fuel keep being used such as shale gas. Also places like the arctic and antarctic will probably be mined eventually.

        Then there are the often overlooked myriad of non-CO2 "minor" greenhouse gases that are rising. Some are entirely artificial molecules that have only started increasing in the atmosphere in the past 100 years due to by-products of industrial processes. In the short-term everyone focuses on CO2, but in the longterm these minor gases will add up and there's no "peak oil" equivalent to them.

        Also in a warmer world with the permafrost melting in the north I expect emissions of eg methane to increase.

        So even with a climate sensitivity of 1C per doubling of CO2, I think 4C warming is likely an underestimate. Then again I suspect climate sensitivity is closer to 3C per doubling of CO2...

  20. Chris Miller

    the World Bank's slogan

    is “working for a world free of poverty”

    How's that going, guys?

    1. Tim Worstal

      Re: the World Bank's slogan

      How's it going? Pretty well actually.

      The last 30 years have seen the largest reduction in poverty in the entire history of our species.

      1. Chris Miller

        Re: the World Bank's slogan

        Good point, Tim - with which I entirely agree. My doubts are about the WB's contribution to this. (It also depends on your definition of poverty - 37% of the world population don't have ready access to clean water or sewerage, which makes them pretty poor by my standards.)

      2. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: the World Bank's slogan

        That all depends on whether you mean as a percentage of the current population or as a whole number and also how you define poverty ......

        In 1980 there were approx 4.4 Billion people on the earth of which approx 850 Million hungry people.

        In 2011 there were approx 7 Billion people on the earth of which approx 925 Million hungry people

        The actual Percentage figure is dropping but the actual number of hungry people is still rising. Is that what you call doing pretty well.....

        Percentages mean nothing when you don't know if you will be able to eat today.

        * Figures :

        1. Tim Worstal

          Re: the World Bank's slogan

          "Percentages mean nothing when you don't know if you will be able to eat today."


          The percentage who know whether they can eat today is rising. I'd say that means something.

          Agreed above about how much the WB has contributed to the reduction in poverty. But what we actually mean by this is people living on less than $1.25 a day in inflation adjusted 1990 (or some such year) dollars.

          And this has been falling both as a percentage of the species and as an absolute number even as population rises.

          Amazingly, even global inequality has been falling. We've done something right in the past 30 odd years.

  21. Magani

    Average of opinions?

    "Compiled by two groups, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics who together studied the corpus of climate change literature, "...

    So instead of doing any original study/research of their own, they read everyone else's theories and come up with a conclusion. Brilliant.

    Sorry World Bank, but Asimov already had that idea in his Foundation series. Hari Seldon would be proud of you.

  22. The Baron


    anthropomorphically-induced temperature rise

    The temperature rise was induced by ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human?

    Maybe "anthropogenic temperature rise"?

    1. danR2

      Re: Anthropowhatchamacallit?

      Sharp eye. World Banksterogenic-induced illiteracy.

  23. calumg

    Global warming is just a liberal conspiracy

    Of course it isn't, but why is everyone such an armchair expert when it comes to AGW? It is uncannily similar to creationists who suddenly imagine themselves to be experts at biology, geology, cosmology or any other field of science which is inconvenient, complex and unfathomable to them. You see similar tactics being employed.

    Whilst unconditional trust of science and scientists is unreasonable, I'll go out on a limb here and say that climate science is not just snake-oil and climate scientists are honest intelligent individuals, and I certainly put more trust in them than the hoards of armchair experts who imagine that truth is some kind of democratic process where your ignorance equals my knowledge, and he who shouts loudest wins.

    1. itzman

      Re: Global warming is just a liberal conspiracy

      But "the hoards of armchair experts who imagine that truth is some kind of democratic process where your ignorance equals my knowledge, and he who shouts loudest wins." are all supporters of does that mean you disbelieve the hypothesis represent a more or less accurate representation of the climate or not?

    2. ian 22

      Re: Global warming is just a liberal conspiracy

      I say we should use the tried and true "pray and hope" method for dealing with this. Poverty stricken third world countries use this method, saving vast sums short term. Far more economical than Western "thought and effort" methods.

  24. MasterPO

    The TRUE meaning

    Since this is the World Bank declaring that the global temperature will rise -QED - banks may now raise their fees to recoup the costs to keep the cash cold and hard!

  25. quatra


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