A recent sobering article in the Guardian notes that as of May 2013 we have now reached the new exciting record of having 400 parts per million of Co2 in our atmosphere!
The Guardian states that:
The last time so much greenhouse gas was in the air was several million years ago, when the Arctic was ice-free, savannah spread across the Sahara desert and sea level was up to 40 metres higher than today.
These conditions are expected to return in time, with devastating consequences for civilisation, unless emissions of CO2 from the burning of coal, gas and oil are rapidly curtailed. But despite increasingly severe warnings from scientists and a major economic recession, global emissions have continued to soar unchecked.
The CO2 “Hockeystick” graph (courtesy of http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2013/may/10/climate-warming-gas-carbon-dioxide-levels-interactive )
However what is most sobering, is that last slide in this Guardian narrative, which shows the likely scenario of reaching 1000 parts of carbon dioxide per million by 2100 if industrialization continues as it has for the past 200 years; which is everybody’s best guess at this point.
Not one government in the world is committed to real carbon dioxide emission reductions at this point. Most governments talk about reducing carbon emissions, but in reality pedal “progress’ and ‘economic growth ” as the panacea to their little national problems of recession or poverty… However “growth” and “progress” are the true causes of our death-wish.
By the time real decisions are made to reduce industrialization and consumption globally, we will be well and truly past the point of ensuring our survivability as a species with any significant numbers on the planet, along with thousands of other species. In reality, right now, we are long-gone.
What the impacts of living on a planet with 1000 parts per million of carbon dioxide will be; no-one knows. Nor do we know what the short to medium term impacts of this totally never-before-witnessed sudden change in our atmospheric composition will have on this planet.
Nor does anyone know, even if we stop producing CO2 right now, how long it will take before CO2 levels start to decline, and consequently the world’s climate begin to return to”normal ” conditions. Quite possibly it may take thousands of years for climate conditions to return to the levels of the 1960s; if they ever do at all.
What we do know is that we have entered an unfamiliar world-there is no going back.
Be prepared for the unexpected!