Monday, June 4, 2012

The Safe Upper Limit of Atmospheric Carbon is 350 PPM

As reviewed at 350.org, the science is clear, global warming is happening faster than ever and humans are responsible. Global warming is caused by releasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Global warming destabilizes the delicate balance that makes life on this planet possible. Just a few degrees in temperature can completely change the world as we know it, and threaten the lives of millions of people around the world. The planet is in peril because we've poured too much carbon into the atmosphere, and we already seen troubling signs including extreme weather and melting ice caps.

As of 2012 we have recorded 400 parts per million (PPM) of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the arctic. According to leading scientists, to avoid runaway climate change, we need to get that number down to 350 PPM (the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide).

Dr. James Hansen, of NASA, the United States' space agency is one of the world's leading authorities on climate science. He has been researching global warming for decades and along with his colleagues he has demonstrated that global warming is real using both real-world observation, computer simulation, and mountains of data about ancient climates to calculate what constitutes dangerous quantities of carbon in the atmosphere.and he was the first to publicly testify before the U.S. Congress, in June of 1988, that global warming was real. Click here to see the full text of James Hansen's paper on the upper safe limit of atmospheric carbon.

Getting back to 350 means transforming our world. The business community needs to continue to embrace sustainability in ever growing numbers. We need more renewable energy and less fossil fuels, greater efficiency and less waste, we also need more trees and less clear cutting. Perhaps most importantly getting atmospheric carbon down below 350 requires a global treaty that limits the amount carbon emissions.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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1 comment:

Great Danes! said...

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