Friday, March 07, 2008

Frightening Facts About Climate Change

Here are some frightening facts culled from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report by Joseph Romm, editor of the Climate Progress blog:

To stabilize CO2 levels at 450 ppm, cumulative emissions during this century should be reduced to about 490 billion tons of carbon (GtC). This would lead to average global temperatures 3.6 degrees farenheit than they are now.

To stabilize CO2 levels at 1000 ppm, cumulative emissions should to about 1100 GtC. This would lead to average global temperatures 18 to 25 degrees farenheit than they are now - and up to 50% more than that in the continental United States.

Current emissions are 8 billion tons per year, and they are expected to increase to 11 tons per year by 2020. Even with a significant government effort that keeps emissions from growing much higher than the level in 2020, we will reach 1100 GtC.

Currently, summer temperatures in the US typically go up to 100 degrees. Imagine the effect on humans, biodiversity, and crops if summer temperatures typically went up to 130 degrees.

And this is not the worst case. It assumes government action to keep emissions from growing significantly after 2020. If the climate deniers prevent us from acting, CO2 levels will be much, much higher.

Even more frightening, these temperature predictions are based on current models of how natural feedback increases warming (for example, as melting arctic ice reflects less sun, increasing warming). Yet warming has been happening more rapidly than the current models predict, indicating that natural feedback probably increases warming more rapidly than they predict.

The good news is that the European Union is supporting a plan that would cut emissions rapidly enough to hold temperature change down to 3.6 degrees farenheit. The bad news is that the rest of the world does not seem willing to accept these limits. They seem to be willing to sacrifice the well-being of our children and of all future generations for a few more decades of economic growth, until climate change causes the world economy to crash.

See Joseph Romm's blog post at the bottom of the page at:


Blogger dan said...

For immediate release
March 4, 2008

Green blogger uses "polar cities" as educational tool
to raise public awareness about global warming issues

NEW YORK -- A lone blogger in Taiwan is using the Internet in a novel
way to help raise awareness about global warming.

Green media activist Danny Bloom doesn't believe humans will ever have
to live in so-called "polar cities" (a term he coined in 2006), but he
is using a series of computer-generated blueprints of a polar city as
an educational tool to help raise help public awareness about the
climate crisis.

Created by Taiwanese artist Cheng-hong Deng, the polar city images
have appeared on hundreds of websites and blogs around the world -- in
English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French and Chinese, Bloom, a 1971
gradute of Tufts University in Boston, says.

The 58-year-old green activist says he is using the Internet in a
novel way to get his message across.

The message? "If we don't actively tackle the very serious problems
that confront the world now, in terms of global warming, then there is
a possibility that future generations might have to take refuge in
such polar cities. I never want to see these polar cities become
reality. So the images Deng has created for my project are meant to be
a warning about global warming."

Bloom says he has shown the images to internationally-acclaimed
climate scientist James Lovelock in Britain, who is known for his
pessimism and doomsaying about global warming. Lovelock told Bloom by
email: "It may very well happen and soon."

"I hope polar cities are never needed for survivors of global warming
in the far distant future," Bloom says. "These images are meant to be
a wake-up call for those who are still sleepwalking through the
climate crisis."

Bloom emphasizes that he has no agenda, political or scientific, in
terms of solutions to global warming, and says that he just wants to
participate in the global discussion about climate change in his own
personal way. "I am just using Deng's images to sound the alarm, a
visual alarm."

He says that his Internet campaign, which began a year ago with a
letter to the editor of several newspapers in North America and
Europe, has had the result he is looking for.

A young blogger in Tahiti saw the images, blogged about them in
French, and said that while he found the polar city blueprints to be
fascinating, they made him just want to work harder in his daily life
"to help fight the climate crisis so that the worst case scenarios
never happen."


6:05 PM  

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