Saturday, January 15, 2011

Connection between climate change and CO2 emissions

The increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are regarded by many scientists as the main reason for the ongoing climate change problem. Carbon emissions have started growing since the start of the industrial revolution, and the worst period was the end of the 20th century, after which world leaders started taking climate change issue more seriously. Sadly, still not serious enough to agree upon new climate deal that would oblige countries to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions.

What will happen if the world fails to reduce the level of carbon emissions in near future? According to scientists climate change could reach catastrophic proportions in form of frequent flooding, drought, global sea level rise, extinction of many animal and plant species, more hunger and new diseases.

According to the latest study from the U.S. scientist Jeffrey Kiehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research if industrial carbon dioxide emissions continue unabated, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide could by 2100 reach levels not seen by more than 30 million years, when Earth’s average temperature was 25 to 30 degrees F warmer than today.

This study also claims that if carbon dioxide continue with the current trend this will result in levels of carbon dioxide in to atmosphere of 900 to 1,000 parts per million by 2100 — triple levels two centuries ago.

This basically means that the world leaders by failing to agree new climate deal are putting our planet "on a trajectory that the human species has never experienced". According to Kiehl our planet is probably also twice as sensitive to CO2 as currently believed, since models do not factor in the amplifying effect that melting ice sheets and sea ice will have on warming.

The latest Cancun climate talks have provided us with some glimpses of hope that the new climate deal is still possible. But the world doesn't have the luxury of time and its disposal, so hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the new international climate deal to be agreed upon.

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