Monday, June 23, 2008

Man-made, CO2-driven Global Warming Science Info


1. The atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is now about 385 parts per million (ppm) by volume and increasing at about 2.5 ppm per year but “positive feedback” can increase this rate (e.g. the white ice to black water “albedo flip”; release of methane and CO2 from melting tundra; lubrication of glacier movement to the sea; loss of CO2 sequestration by oceans, phytoplankton, forests) (see: , and ).

2. Coral reef death above 450 ppm CO2 – at above about 450 ppm CO2 (26 years’ time at current rates) the world’s coral reefs – including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – will start dying because of ocean acidification as well as from bleaching due to photosynthetic symbiont expulsion from increased ocean temperature. Top coral scientists say the “tipping point” for world coral death is in the 450-500 ppm atmospheric CO2 zone

Science 14 December 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5857, pp. 1737 – 1742: ; ; ; ; see: also the latest 2007 IPCC Synthesis Report: and ) .

3. Phytoplankton, Greenland Ice Sheet go above 500 ppm CO2 - Atmospheric CO2 concentration will reach 500 ppm in. 46 years’ time at current rates assuming no acceleration of CO2 accretion in the atmosphere due to “positive feedback” effects (500-385 =115 ppm; 115ppm/2.5ppm per year = 46 years). At 500 ppm there is huge damage to the ocean phytoplankton system (crucial for ocean food chains and for global temperature homeostasis (balance) by sequestering CO2 and for light-reflecting cloud formation through production of cloud-seeding dimethylsulphide) and the Greenland ice sheet melts with a huge attendant circa 7 meter sea level rise (see: James Lovelock “The Revenge of Gaia”, Penguin, London, 2006; ; ).

4. World has passed “tipping point” for sea ice loss - at current 385 ppm CO2 we already have passed a “tipping point” for the complete loss of Arctic summer sea ice that may be completely gone within a decade (see: ; ; ; ) – with huge implications for polar warming, Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheet melting, tundra melting (see: and ) and sea level rise (see also: ; ; ).

5. Record species extinctions - at current levels of human impact (e.g. 10C above pre-industrial, current 385 ppm CO2 ) we already have an animal extinction rate that is one thousand (1,000) times greater than that of the fossil record (see also: ; ).

6. Atmospheric CO2 concentration is rising rapidly – it is currently about 385 ppm but is increasing at a rate approaching 3 ppm per year corresponding to the very worst scenario envisaged by the IPCC i.e. of unaddressed carbon pollution; temperature increasing by 0.3 0C per decade (see: and ).

7. Less than 350 ppm CO2 safe - top US climate scientist Dr James Hansen (Head, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, GISS, New York) says that we have gone too far: "The evidence indicates we've aimed too high -- that the safe upper limit for atmospheric CO2 is no more than 350 ppm", and wants a “negative CO2 emissions” policy of cessation of CO2 pollution and reducing atmospheric CO2 pollution (e.g. by use of renewable and geothermal energy, re-afforestation, returning carbon as biochar to soils) (for recent articles about or by Dr Hansen and his colleagues see: ; ; ) .

8. Global warming destruction of ecosystems is un-economic as well as irreversible vandalism - It has been estimated by Balmford et al in the prestigious scientific journal Science that for a variety of “biomes” (ecological systems) the total economic value (TEV) is about 50% greater when the resource is used sustainably as opposed to destructive conversion. Further, these scientists have found that the economic benefit from preserving what is left of wild nature is OVER 100 TIMES greater than the cost of preservation (see “Economic reasons for preserving wild nature”: ).

9. Biofuel diversioin and famine - crop-based biofuels are highly CO2 polluting, the global food price crisis (driven in part by US-, UK- and EU- mandated food diversion for biofuel, oil price rises, globalization, global warming and speculation) threatens “billions” with biofuel-driven famine according to UK Chief Scientist Professor John Beddington FRS (see:,25197,23336840-11949,00.html ; ; ).

10. Climate change famine and mass mortality - unaddressed climate change already threatens billions and will kill over 6 billion people this century according to Professor James Lovelock FRS) (see: ; ; ).

CONTACT: Yarra Valley Climate Action Group (YVCAG): ; Climate Emergency Network (CEN): .

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