chapter  4
13 Pages

The science of the two degree limit

The two degree limit is a concept that is an expression of elite values which has been placed on top of the physical science without having any substantive relationship to that science. A climate that moves away from a normal state is feared to be more or less dangerous, depending on a range of statistical, cultural and physical factors. This chapter elucidates interview data to show how climate change communicators have responded to this complexity and uncertainty. The dominant approach to defining dangerous climate change is primarily concerned with very large-scale impacts. This fixation on large-scale impacts gives researchers and policymakers the chance to avoid the complications of a more qualitative account of what dangerous climate change might be. Meaningful projections of when climate change becomes dangerous require a level of granularity that is beyond the scope of current modelling capability. The climate scientists constructs a representation of future climate change and its human causes presents it as reassuringly gradual.