Saturday, 18 May 2013

So how did we get here ?

Latest reading: 400.27 ppm.CO2 concentration on May 16, 2013

Concentrations of the greenhouse gas ,carbon dioxide, in the global atmosphere have reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history.  

 But that's not all.

Man made CO2 emissions into the atmosphere will continue to rise and  will push temperatures further up.We have surpassed the safe levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.According to climate science, the safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 350 parts per million.

So how did we get here and can we get out of this hell ?

Before the industrial age CO2 emissions were at  275 ppm - and ever since then they have risen rapidly. So where did this unprecedented rise of CO2 come from  ?

Here is the quick and dirty list.

Burning of fossil fuel,such as oil, coal, and gas . We need all this to power our lives - from driving our cars, to taking that plane, to using our laptops, iPhones, ipads,washing machines, micro waves,air-conditioners and other what nots. Then the endless mass production and transportation of cheap goods in one continent, meant for another continent. Deforestation and changes in land use ! Forests are a precious resource and absorb enormous quantities  of carbon , they are the lungs of the planet and play a crucial role in stabilising climate - cutting them down puts this carbon back into the atmosphere. But we are cutting down our forests faster than they can ever be replaced.The reckless clearing of forest land for  mining and other infrastructure "development" - building of highways,express ways, shops, malls.The industrialization of agriculture , urbanisation and the conversion of fertile land to build industrial parks -  at break neck speeds- are some reasons for rise in CO2 emissions.

A new report from WWF shows that five Asian countries, Cambodia,Laos,Burma,Thailand and Vietnam has lost nearly one-third of their forests in the last 35 years and could be left with 10-20% of their original cover in 15 years.If the current rate of deforestation continues, the world's rain forests will vanish within 100 years- causing unknown effects on global climate.

So we can continue to live business-as-usual ,pumping CO2 into the atmosphere but in doing so we will destroy our planet. And when we destroy the planet, we destroy ourselves.