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This blog is expressly directed to readers who do not have strong training or backgrounds in science, with the intent of helping them grasp the underpinnings of this important issue. I'm going to present an ongoing series of posts that will develop various aspects of the science of global warming, its causes and possible methods for minimizing its advance and overcoming at least partially its detrimental effects.

Each post will begin with a capsule summary. It will then proceed with captioned sections to amplify and justify the statements and conclusions of the summary. I'll present images and tables where helpful to develop a point, since "a picture is worth a thousand words".

Friday, March 23, 2018

This Report Card for Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Is Not Encouraging

Background.  The International Energy Agency (IEA) issued its assessment, “Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, 2017” (Report) on March 22, 2018.  The IEA reviews aspects of global energy use and greenhouse gas emission rates annually.  This schedule has become even more important since the Paris Climate Agreement among virtually all nations of the world was concluded, under the auspices of the United Nations-sponsored organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in December 2015.

The essence of the Paris Agreement is first, setting the goal of keeping the global average increase in temperature, measured from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, under 2°C (3.8°F), and second, having every nation individually commit voluntarily to embark on its own program to reduce annual emission rates for CO2 to achieve the temperature objective.  The emissions originate from humanity’s burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) to provide energy for buildings, industry, and transportation.  An analysis of those promised emission rates, however, showed that they were inadequate to limit the global temperature rise as intended.

The Report finds that, for 2017 world-wide demand for energy increased 2.1% over that for 2016.  CO2 emission rates derived from that demand increased by 1.4%.  The total amount of CO2 emitted during the year was the highest recorded to date, showing that the world, instead of making progress toward attaining the goals of the Paris Agreement, is actually regressing.    

Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said of these findings “The robust global economy pushed up energy demand last year, which was mostly met by fossil fuels….The significant growth in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 tells us that current efforts to combat climate change are far from sufficient.”  Use of all three fossil fuels increased in 2017, providing 81% of total energy demand, even as renewable energy generation (from solar, wind and hydropower) increased dramatically, by 6.3%.  The United States was among just a handful of nations whose emission rates actually decreased.

Conclusion.  Worsening of global warming and its consequent climate change effects cause major harms, and inflict costly damages the world over.  For example, “the most severe drought [on ] record” in the Middle East, made worse by human activity,  created sociopolitical conditions that contributed to the start of the Syrian civil war. The has led to dire consequences for security and stability in the region.  Many instances of extreme weather and climate events, such as the 2017 hurricanes affecting the Caribbean and southern U. S., have been at least partly attributed to global warming.  Warmer temperatures adversely alter ecological balances such as with pine bark beetle infestations.

All nations of the world, including the U.S., must redouble their efforts to minimize further emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, with great urgency.   Without concerted, assertive action keeping the global temperature increase to less than 2°C will not be possible.
© 2018 Henry Auer


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  2. ...interstellar travel constant acceleration (Earth Day)... PLANETARY EMERGENCY: global warming due to pouring pollutants greenhouse effect into the air...the generalized burn fossil fuels it must stop immediately... Car Factories: is inadmissible design dirty new cars with internal combustion. Have to make and buy Solar Energy clean electric cars. Stop F1, welcome EF. Eliminate the cattle and natural meat how food. Leave Carbon and Petroleum for nonflammable uses. Also there are huge quantities of methane in sediments of oceanic bottoms how solid methane-hydrates, waiting... Methane Big Greenhouse Effect... Over there is visible, Lakes on polar areas already are releasing from bottom to surface big methane bubbles... Permafrost is Melting...when all that methane passing to Atmosphere... We receive vague communiqués... What can we do for avoid the future catastrophe on Earth?. Have cooling the Planet again urgently, and do not thinking more Wars. Humankind must surmount its technological adolescence and go the stars.

  3. warming("good" no longer spend cold)... pouring pollutants greenhouse effect into the air is melting the poles. Besides on melting permafrost will liberate into the Atmosphere million Tm of methane with big greenhouse effect. This large amount of freshwater to the ocean could stop deep sea currents which depend on a delicate balance between fresh and salty water and temperatures, (ThermoHaline Circulation) vertical starting in polar areas from surface downwards and continuing go away slow and cold by the bottom loading nutrients and carrying large heat quantities. Deep sea currents move 90% of all the oceans water. Heat from the Sun reaches the equator and currents distribute it throughout the Planet, then...goodbye to our warm climate. The horizontal oceanic currents on surface produced by winds (move 10% of all the oceans water), rotating (Gyres) all by the Coriolis effect, and some others in all levels by the rotation of the Earth from West->East, like the Antarctic circumpolar current, will continue...but the vertical currents produced by the sinking of horizontal currents of dense salty water that reach the poles where the water is sweeter, less salty, and form cold bottom currents going heat transvasing among different latitudes would stop (why are the Grand Banks fishing in cold latitudes?...because over there is the POLAR ICE, freshwater, different sweet/salty density, salty dense water arriving and sinks in a little salty water environment...nutrients that are removed from the bottom cold water and rise to the surface, phytoplankton that feed on nutrients, zooplankton that feed on phytoplankton, fish that feed on zooplankton)... No polar ice over there will be no vertical currents...could reduce the rise of nutrients to the surface and therefore PHYTOPLANKTON SHORTAGE MAY DECREASING ITS VITAL CONTRIBUTION WITH OXYGEN TO THE ATMOSPHERE (~50%) in some places of more warm latitudes carry far the surface´s hot water permitting the outcropping to surface of water with plankton and nutrients (the upwelling) from the bottom cold current coming from the pole, forming other Banks fishing (and other zones where phytoplankton oxygen produces), and returning by surface again like warm water towards the poles completing the THC circuit... Without polar ice the sea it could almost stratified into horizontal layers, less salty upwards...more salty downwards with little mixing, little energetic movement of water masses in vertical which is what removes fertilizer nutrients from the bottom cold water, and also produces the THC... Besides lowering salinity of the sea, for that great contribution with freshwater to melt the poles, will increase evaporation (ebullioscopy: the less salt has, more evaporates) producing gigantic storm clouds as have never seen, that together with changing of the ocean currents, could cool areas of the Planet causing a new ice age... Warming...invasion of tropical diseases carried by their transmitter agents, already without the "general Winter" containing them would fall upon the World like a plague...can produce a cooling, a new ice age, like living at the North Pole...and less oxygen in the Atmosphere... Is not known what will be worse... Go choosing.