Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day

I almost forgot. Graphic is cribbed from a reflection by Joe Romm at Think Progress who urges us to focus:

The problem with Earth Day is it asks us to save too much ground. We need to focus. The two parts of the planet worth fighting to preserve are the soils and the glaciers.

Numerous studies show that nearly a third of the world’s land faces drying from rising greenhouse gases — including two of the world’s greatest agricultural centers, the U.S. Great Plains and a big chunk of southeastern China. On our current emissions path, most of the Southwest ultimately experience twice as much loss of soil moisture as was seen during the Dust Bowl (see “Dust-Bowlification“).

Also, locked away in the frozen soil of the tundra or permafrost is more carbon than the atmosphere contains today .... On our current path, most of the top 10 feet of the permafrost will be lost this century — so much for being “perma” — and that amplifying carbon-cycle feedback will “Will Likely Add Up To 1.5°F To Total Global Warming By 2100,” all but ensuring that today’s worst-case scenarios for global warming become the best-case scenarios. We must save the tundra.

... As for glaciers, when they disappear, sea levels rise, perhaps in excess of an inch a year by century’s end (see also here). If we warm even 3°C from pre-industrial levels, we will return the planet to a time when sea levels were ultimately 100 feet higher ... . The first five feet of sea level rise, which seems increasingly likely to over the next hundred years on our current emissions path, would displace more than 100 million people.

Go read it all.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails