Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What all the fuss is about

Here's the greenhouse issue in one simple graphic.

graphic of the amount of greenhouse emissions and our remaining carbon budget

First box is the greenhouse gases emitted in the 150 years up to the year 2000. The second green box is what we've added in just over a decade. That would be scary enough, but there's more.

The black box is what scientists estimate we can "safely" release - if we have a hope of staying under 2°C of global warming. And it's only slightly bigger than what we've done in the last decade or so.

So, unless we really expect the whole world to be zero-carbon in about a decade from now, we need to reduce our annual emissions now - to make that 500 last as long as possible.

[Full version of the graphic]

PS. The graphic numbers are in gigatonnes. If you divide the 500 gigatonnes by 7 billion people you get about 70 tonnes per person. For the average Australian/American that's not even 3 years worth.

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