Sunday, January 31, 2016

HEADING INTO HOT DAYS

At last months' global summit in Paris, 195 nations committed themselves to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6. degrees, Fahrenheit), and cut emissions from what they were in 1919.

It's progress. At the 2009 summit, 157 nations promised they'd present the idea of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, (3.6. Fahrenheit) to their governments, and cut emissions from what they were in 1990.


The numbers haunt me -- 2 degrees from1990 levels -- the nations "promised" (but didn't commit themselves). Now, after Paris, nations are "committed" to cutting emissions to what they were in 1919. 
 
Yes, the Paris Summit brings us closer to mitigating what's happening with weather throughout the world. But large countries have different objectives from the smaller, poorer countries, and a commitment to cut emissions involves -- wow -- a lot of people -- many meetings in each of the 195 countries. Our own country can't even get Obama's commitment ratified. It's going to take a long time -- months, maybe years -- for 195 countries to cut emissions down.

Many, many climatologists say we have already reached and gone beyond 2 degrees C (3.6 F) of global warming.

The United Nation's climate chief, (Christiana Figueres), recently said, "We're not in the world of business as usual anymore -- we are in a world of business that's urgent.” Tim Gore, an internationally renown climatologist, declared grimly, "The conference is seeking an agreement that would take us from a 4-degree catastrophe to a 3-degree disaster.” (He's saying the numbers are already out of date -- we’ve already emitted enough greenhouse gases to lock in a 2-degree Celsius rise.) Ray Pierrehumbert, the top man at Oxford University, University of Chicago, and Stockholm University, has said, "Barring some technological miracle, we’ll probably blow right past it."

Just about everyone involved with global warming says that our best hope is developing an alternative form of energy production that produces no greenhouse gases, or maybe finding ways to capture and store gases, or geo-engineering.

What's geo-engineering? Who's doing it? Does anyone have a feasible, possible solution?

Yes. Maybe ...

It's complicated. There are a lot of new terms and different kinds of ideas. In my next blog, I'll report what I've learned.

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