Thursday, May 16, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 16th May 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury

Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is a measure of the way the world is warming. Increasing amounts of CO2 lead to increases in global temperatures which, if left unchecked, will lead to chaos.

Climate scientists have been warning about these effects for years but CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have continued to increase nonetheless. We have to go back several million years to find the same amount of CO2 in the atmosphere as there is now - then the Arctic was ice-free, the Sahara was savannah, and, most scarily, sea level was up to 40 metres higher. Think what that would mean for our little island!

The milestone of 400 parts per million of CO2 daily average in the atmosphere has now been reached in data presented from the monitoring stations on Hawaii that have been measuring the gas since 1958. It is the first time in human history that concentrations have reached this level.

It does not seem to matter how much data is produced, how much evidence of early climate changes are experienced, successive governments have failed to take on board the importance of climate change and, even worse, have failed to act on the information and make changes to the way we live and produce energy.

The UN summit in Paris in 2015 is set as the deadline for nations to commit to a binding international treaty to stop the rise in CO2 emissions from passing the 2°C level and saving the world from catastrophe

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