publication . Preprint . 2011

How persistent is civilization growth?

Garrett, Timothy J.;
Open Access English
  • Published: 28 Jan 2011
Abstract
In a recent study (Garrett, 2011), I described theoretical arguments and empirical evidence showing how civilization evolution might be considered from a purely physical basis. One implication is that civilization exhibits the property of persistence in its growth. Here, this argument is elaborated further, and specific near-term forecasts are provided for key economic variables and anthropogenic CO2 emission rates at global scales. Absent some external shock, civilization wealth, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions will continue to grow exponentially at an average rate of about 2.3% per year.
Subjects
free text keywords: Physics - Physics and Society, Nonlinear Sciences - Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems, Physics - Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics
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23 references, page 1 of 2

1. Climate Change 2007 - Mitigation of Climate Change. Cambridge University Press (2007)

2. Annual Energy Review 2009. Tech. Rep. DOE/EIA-0384(2009), Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (2009). URL www.eia.doe.gov/aer/inter.html

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4. Brown, J.H., Gillooly, J.F., Allen, A.P., Savage, V.M., West, G.B.: Toward a metabolic theory of ecology. Ecology 85, 1771-1789 (2004) [OpenAIRE]

5. Costanza, R.: Embodied energy and economic valuation. Science 210, 1219-1224 (1980) [OpenAIRE]

6. Cullenward, D., Schipper, L., Sudarshan, A., Howarth, R.B.: Psychohistory revisited: fundamental issues in forecasting climate futures. Clim. Change 3, 457-472 (2011)

7. Garrett, T.J.: Are there basic physical constraints on future anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide? Clim. Change 3, 437-455 (2011). DOI 10.1007/s10584-009-9717-9

8. IPCC: Climate Change 2007 - Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability. Cambridge University Press (2007)

9. IPCC: Climate Change 2007 - The Physical Basis. Cambridge University Press (2007)

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11. Joos, F., Bruno, M., Fink, R., Siegenthaler, U., Stocker, T.F., Le Que´re´, C., Sarmiento, J.L.: An efficient and accurate representation of complex oceanic and biospheric models of anthropogenic carbon uptake. Tellus B 48, 397-417 (1996)

12. Keeling, C.D., Whorf, T.P.: Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change, chap. Atmospheric CO2 records from sites in the SIO air sampling network. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. (2005)

13. Knorr, W.: Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing? Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L21,710 (2009). DOI 10.1029/2009GL040613

14. Lacis, A.A., Schmidt, G.A., Rind, D., Ruedy, R.A.: Atmospheric co2: Principal control knob governing earth's temperature. Science 330, 356-359 (2010). DOI 10.1126/science.1190653

15. Le Que´re´, C., Aumont, O., Bopp, L., Bousquet, P., Ciais, P., Francey, R., Heimann, M., Keeling, C.D., Keeling, R.F., Kheshgi, H., Peylin, P., Piper, S.C., Prentice, I.C., Rayner, P.J.: Two decades of ocean CO2 sink and variability. Tellus B 55, 649-656 (2003). DOI 10.1034/j.1600-0889.2003.00043.x [OpenAIRE]

23 references, page 1 of 2
Abstract
In a recent study (Garrett, 2011), I described theoretical arguments and empirical evidence showing how civilization evolution might be considered from a purely physical basis. One implication is that civilization exhibits the property of persistence in its growth. Here, this argument is elaborated further, and specific near-term forecasts are provided for key economic variables and anthropogenic CO2 emission rates at global scales. Absent some external shock, civilization wealth, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions will continue to grow exponentially at an average rate of about 2.3% per year.
Subjects
free text keywords: Physics - Physics and Society, Nonlinear Sciences - Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems, Physics - Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics
Download from
23 references, page 1 of 2

1. Climate Change 2007 - Mitigation of Climate Change. Cambridge University Press (2007)

2. Annual Energy Review 2009. Tech. Rep. DOE/EIA-0384(2009), Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (2009). URL www.eia.doe.gov/aer/inter.html

3. United Nations Statistical Databases (2010). URL unstats.un.org/unsd/snaama

4. Brown, J.H., Gillooly, J.F., Allen, A.P., Savage, V.M., West, G.B.: Toward a metabolic theory of ecology. Ecology 85, 1771-1789 (2004) [OpenAIRE]

5. Costanza, R.: Embodied energy and economic valuation. Science 210, 1219-1224 (1980) [OpenAIRE]

6. Cullenward, D., Schipper, L., Sudarshan, A., Howarth, R.B.: Psychohistory revisited: fundamental issues in forecasting climate futures. Clim. Change 3, 457-472 (2011)

7. Garrett, T.J.: Are there basic physical constraints on future anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide? Clim. Change 3, 437-455 (2011). DOI 10.1007/s10584-009-9717-9

8. IPCC: Climate Change 2007 - Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability. Cambridge University Press (2007)

9. IPCC: Climate Change 2007 - The Physical Basis. Cambridge University Press (2007)

10. Jevons, W.S.: The Coal Question. Macmillan and Co. (1865)

11. Joos, F., Bruno, M., Fink, R., Siegenthaler, U., Stocker, T.F., Le Que´re´, C., Sarmiento, J.L.: An efficient and accurate representation of complex oceanic and biospheric models of anthropogenic carbon uptake. Tellus B 48, 397-417 (1996)

12. Keeling, C.D., Whorf, T.P.: Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change, chap. Atmospheric CO2 records from sites in the SIO air sampling network. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. (2005)

13. Knorr, W.: Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing? Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L21,710 (2009). DOI 10.1029/2009GL040613

14. Lacis, A.A., Schmidt, G.A., Rind, D., Ruedy, R.A.: Atmospheric co2: Principal control knob governing earth's temperature. Science 330, 356-359 (2010). DOI 10.1126/science.1190653

15. Le Que´re´, C., Aumont, O., Bopp, L., Bousquet, P., Ciais, P., Francey, R., Heimann, M., Keeling, C.D., Keeling, R.F., Kheshgi, H., Peylin, P., Piper, S.C., Prentice, I.C., Rayner, P.J.: Two decades of ocean CO2 sink and variability. Tellus B 55, 649-656 (2003). DOI 10.1034/j.1600-0889.2003.00043.x [OpenAIRE]

23 references, page 1 of 2
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