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View Diary: The Hockey Stick rides again (137 comments)

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  •  How Much Extra Greenhouse Is Too Much? (10+ / 0-)

    How much extra CO2-equivalent emissions does Earth generate in 2013, past the capacity of the Earth to carry it without the Greenhouse increasing the Earth's temperature (and changing the global climate, etc)?

    In other words, how much less emissions would we have to emit to at least stop the change rate at the current rate?

    And if we could wave a magic wand, how much emissions would we need cut in order to return us to the Greenhouse of the pre Industrial Revolution?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 07:27:58 AM PST

    •  CO2 (12+ / 0-)

      Thanks for the question Doc.
      In 2012, we released, globally, about 36 billion tons (Gigatons) of CO2 into the atmosphere. Natural long-term carbon burial can only up a couple billion tons a year at most, a tiny fraction of what we're releasing. To get our emissions down to the point where they are balanced by long-term uptake, we'd have to decrease them by at least a factor of 20 or so...

      •  We're really going to have to change our society (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        walkshills, WarrenS, Calamity Jean

        and economy in profound ways to even approach that amount of emission reduction, but it is long past time to energetically pursue such goals.

        In the United States, our failure to establish a 'Manhattan Project" style energy conservation approach in such areas as electric power and transportation means we are not  making the kind of progress needed towards emission reductions that are necessary to address our presently robust greenhouse gas emission inventory.

        As far as national infrastructure is concerned, we're poised to construct the Keystone XL pipeline which would make us far more dependent on tar sands derivative liquid fuels than we presently are [along with the increased CO2 burden from such tar sands processing].  

        Meanwhile, what we need is a national priority program to establish electrified high speed passenger rail and even electrified freight rail, while we wind down commercial aviation as a principle method intercity travel.

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