The Climate is Like a Big, Juicy Pie

If the Climate was like a Pie

Now that we know the pie is finite, how do we share what’s left?

Well, how much pie do we have left?


How much pie have we already eaten? Well, between 1870 and 2011, we’ve pumped in emissions of 1890 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere.

To put this into perspective, we can only pump in 630 – 1180 gigatonnes more between 2011 and 2100. This gives us a 66% chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

(For a higher chance to avoid catastrophe, eat less pie.)

How long can we keep eating it?


We’re eating pie fast! In just one year, 2010, the records say we emitted 49 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide.

At this rate, we’ve got another 13 to 24 years of eating pie. Less, if we eat faster, or more, if we eat slower.

To share, or not to share?

Some people have put forwards the view that everyone should get a fair share of the pie – if you’ve had yours, wipe the crumbs off your chin and make space for others to take a bite too. Others disagree.

Pie is never easy to give up.

What about you, what would you do with the pie we have left?



IPCC, 2014: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer, O., R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J.C. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Author: Little Climate

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