Friday, July 26, 2013

NASA Presents Two Scenarios for Global Warming of North America This Century. This Should Be an Eye Opener for Canadians.

Check out this animation.   Notice that the heating our continent will experience is by far greatest in and from the north.  (sorry for the horrible embedded ad)

 Researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center teamed with scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C., to create a new video, which compares two different climate change scenarios: One in which atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase from today's level of 400 parts per million to 550 ppm, and a second in which carbon dioxide levels double to 800 ppm. (Parts per million means that, for example, for every million molecules of air, 400 of them are carbon dioxide.) 

These carbon dioxide concentrations are based on high- and low-emissions scenarios proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and are based on a variety of factors, including potential world population growth, economic development and global commitment to sustainability. The first scenario would require some kind of mitigation and curtailment of greenhouse gas emissions, while the second would occur if emissions continued to increase.

Put another way, the 550 ppm projection is the "best case" scenario that we might hope for but only if we act to mitigate the damage by slashing our greenhouse gas emissions.   Failing that, you've chosen Option "B".  Your choice.


A report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts a 56% growth in energy consumption by 2040 with fossil fuels still dominating.

“Rising prosperity in China and India is a major factor in the outlook for global energy demand. These two countries combined account for half the world’s total increase in energy use through 2040,” said EIA administrator Adam Sieminski in a press release. The EIA is the Department of Energy’s statistical and analytical agency.

Energy use in developing countries, for example, is projected to increase by 90 percent by 2040, while industrialized nations will see a comparatively paltry increase of 17 percent. By 2040, China's energy demand is expected to be twice that of the U.S., the report projected.

So, with that happy news you might want to reconsider the two scenarios presented by NASA to decide which you think the most likely.


Marie Snyder said...

I twittered and facebooked this post. We're no longer at a point where we need contests or incentives to get people to recycle more. We need concrete restrictions - corporate and individual. I'm all for personal freedom, but not if it's costing us our lives. For instance, we could save millions of trees from being cut down each year if we just made disposable cups illegal, forcing people to remember their travel mug or go home un-caffinated. Fuck roll-up-the-rim! And that doesn't have to be a slippery slope to totalitarianism, like I'm sure some will suggest. It'll be a difficult road for politicians to face, but it'll be far worse for us all if they wimp out.

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks, Marie. That sort of thing is a great help in spreading the message.

I think we need to be very focused on the one answer to this threat and that's on decarbonizing our economy and our society. We have to move from high-carbon fossil fuels. We need to slash our emissions and do that quickly - globally.

The energy forecast, however, sees us heading in the opposite direction at breakneck speed. A 56% growth in energy consumption, dominated by fossil fuels, in just a quarter-century. That, Marie, is civilization-wrecking.

Decarbonizing is such a vexing problem because it is wrapped in so many dimensions. There are hurdles at the individual, local, national and international levels. Our dysfunctional energy policies are wrapped in equally dysfunctional and intransigent economic policies and structures. Even the centuries-old way we're organized and governed presents obstacles.

Yet we have to clear these hurdles and create a powerful unity of purpose at the international level to usher the world into clean energy alternatives. We can't afford to fail.

Marie Snyder said...

I have much to say, so I put it all here.