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Climate Change on the way to Paris

Category: PARIS COP21

 

Climate Change on the way to Paris

 

a crucial turning point for Centuries -

 

25 years of climate change negotiations have not given any results other than carbon emissions rising even faster now, by 2.5% p.a. (1), so why meet again in Paris?

 

There are 2 reasons why Paris could make a difference now:

 

Firstly, compared to the 90ies when climate change was eventually a theoretical scenario only, for a decade or so perception has changed. Everybody can see climate change at work now. Whether it is the annual extreme heatwaves in Europe –in 2003 causing a record 70,000 deaths mostly in France-, flash floods with flooding Bejing 2010, Buenos Aires 2011, Pakistan 2012, Calgary 2013, centennial-record flash-flooding along the Elbe river in Germany 2002, 2006 and 2013, a decade of record droughts in California with unprecedented wildfires – climate change at work (2).

 

Secondly, we have a much better understanding of the long term consequences of high carbon levels in the atmosphere today: How long does my carbon footprint stay up there until it comes down in the form of acid rain? Days? Months? Years?

 

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), accumulating carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for Centuries to come, with eventually 500 years of consequences (3).

 

To illustrate this carbon burden for Centuries: See what happened 500 years ago: Christopher Columbus sailed to America – and literally his breath; the atmosphere is breathing out the breath of Columbus by today only – 500 years later or 20 generations (4)!

 

This carbon burden for Centuries has a simple consequence in that even if we stop producing carbon as of tomorrow, even in such a Zero Emission Scenario would temperatures on earth continue to rise for decades! This is illustrated in the grafics below (5).

 

 

And this carbon burden for Centuries is the crucial point for Paris. Which track are we getting on in Paris? The 2 degrees Celsius track? Will we, for the first time in human history be able to stabilize atmospheric carbon levels in order to limit rising temperatures to 2 degrees for the next decades and centuries to come? Respective 2 degrees carbon reduction concepts have been worked out (6). Or, will a stabilization of carbon levels fail again in Paris? We will have missed the 2 degrees track, the benchmark beyond which tipping points will eventually result in devastating environmental conditions. With another 2 decades of rising carbon emissions, we will have produced so much more heat trapping carbon, to stay for Centuries, pushing temperatures beyond the 2 degrees benchmark for Centuries – leading the road to heat-age devastations.

 

The Paris summit will –either way- have consequences for Centuries to come. This is why Paris is such a crucial turning point – getting on the 2 degrees track, or heat-age devastations.

 

Dr. Ingo Stuckmann, Zero Emission-Think Tank article published on www.zepface.it

 



 

References

1.- 2.5% atmospheric carbon dioxide increase p.a.

http://folk.uio.no/roberan/learnmore/more_GCP2014_figures.shtml

http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/14/presentation.htm

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoiding_dangerous_climate_change

 

 

2.- Climate change at work: Zero Emission People – CO2-free living / Chapter 2 / Dr. Ingo Stuckmann,

www.ZeroEmissionCalculator.com/de/zep-shop

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf

3.- http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/news/documents/400ppm.final.pdf

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessmentreport/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf, page 16

 

 

 

 

4.- Zero Emission People and the breath of Columbus, article on www.zepface.it

 

 

5.- Carbon burden for Centuries: MR Allen et al. Nature 458, 1163-1166 (2009)

 

 

6.- Zero Emission Plan for Paris / Zero Emission-Think Tank / article on www.zepface.it

 

 

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