Meanwhile, "super-exponential" acceleration in CO2 growth

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Rau, Greg

Mar 16, 2011, 9:44:03 PM3/16/11
to,,, Climate Intervention

We analyze the growth rates of atmospheric carbon dioxide and hu- man population, by comparing the relative merits of two benchmark models, the exponential law and the finite-time-singular (FTS) power law. The later results from positive feedbacks, either direct or mediated by other dynamical variables, as shown in our presentation of a simple endogenous macroeconomic dynamical growth model. Our empirical calibrations confirm that human population has decelerated from its previous super-exponential growth until 1960 to “just” an exponential growth, but with no sign of more deceleration. As for atmospheric CO2 content, we find that it is at least exponentially increasing and most likely characterized by an accelerating growth rate as off 2009, consistent with an unsustainable FTS power law regime announcing a drastic change of regime. The coexistence of a quasi-exponential growth of human population with a super-exponential growth of car- bon dioxide content in the atmosphere is a diagnostic that, until now, improvements in carbon efficiency per unit of production worldwide has been dramatically insufficient.

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