Thursday, April 03, 2008

Where are we now, and where to go (no GPS)

Climate change has once again come to the fore of my mind... almost like there is nothing else going on.

Where are we now? At the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration there is a hand set of graphs which show the current measured CO2 levels. This will be handy later on, as we will see if any climate change strategy has an overall impact over time.

This would be where the figure of 385ppm came from as the current level. It is worrying that the IPCC is recommending above 400ppm, and talking about 450-500ppm. Given the uncertainty of the upper level needed so that we do not drastically change the world from the one we became civilised in, this seems a tad high. 350ppm is stated, but 320ppm would be safer given uncertainty, and the possiblity of a different natural phenominon taking place.

Looking a bit deeper into the whole CO2-e footprint, most online calculators do not include consumable such as food, and the CO2-e that went into them. Pity, as I would like to feel more smug than I already do for having a plant-based diet (with dairy... life without cheese is meaningless) :-)

Given that the planet has not had a warming event like this, so suddenly releasing the stored C as CO2 on a worldwide scale, the actual reactions will be hard to anticipate. With mass extinctions taking place right now, there will be new evolutionary niches for live to take hold and exploit. Expect hot-water penguins the size of a volkswagen.

1 comment:

Wei said...

Hi Rixaeton,

Cheese needs cows to produce - hence emission and killing of boy calfs, mistreatment of mother cows involved. Why don't give tofu cheese a go? You might be suprised how quickly, you could be free from being attached to other species' milk - not suitable for human adults anyway.

Thanks for the informative and interesting blog. Keep it going please.