Australian news, and some related international items

Where to now – in action on climate change?

climate-changeHumanity’s scorched Earth program – where to now? The Conversation, Andrew Glikson,  24 Jan 13,”……….Where to now?Some scientists despair. Professor Guy McPherson writes “It seems no matter how dire the situation becomes, it only gets worse when I check the latest reports”. Others accept Pablo Casals‘ dictum “The situation is hopeless. We must take the next step”.

In themselves, efforts at reducing atmospheric CO2-emission are no longer sufficient to prevent further global warming. Along with sharply reducing carbon emissions, we need to undertake efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2 from the current level of near-400 ppm to well below 350 ppm. A wide range of technologies – many known as “geo-engineering” – have been proposed to do this job.

The concept of “geo-engineering” rings alarm bells for some, but it has been confused. Most people understand this concept in terms of solar injection of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere. This is a Band-Aid at best; at worst it is a harmful measure causing further ocean acidification and the retardation of precipitation and of the monsoon.

By contrast, CO2 draw-down is a far-better option. It would attempt to reverse the deleterious consequences of the over 560 billion tons of carbon released from combustion and land clearing. Other measures such as NASA-applied outer space shade technology may buy time for such planetary defence effort.

The alternative does not bear contemplation.

January 24, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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