Worst Case Carbon Dioxide Emissions Increases Continue — Hitting 40 Billion Tons Per Year in 2013

A new report from the Global Carbon Project shows the world’s machines are belching more carbon dioxide than ever before. The report, which measures global CO2 emissions, found that gases from all sources jumped by more than 750 million tons during 2013 — a 2.3 percent increase in the dangerous hothouse gas over already extreme 2012 emission levels.

In total, 39.8 billion tons of CO2 hit the atmosphere in 2013, up from about 39.1 billion tons in 2012.

Global Carbon Emissions vs RCP Scenario

(Global carbon emissions continued along a worst-case track during 2013. Note that estimated temperature increases are for this century only. For context, it took 12,000 years for the world to warm 5 degrees Celsius at the end of the last ice age. Image source: Global Carbon Project.)

On the current track, global CO2 emissions will double in about 30 years. This pace of emissions increase is along the worst-case path projected by the UN’s IPCC. One that will hit 8.5 watts per meter squared of additional warming at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere and greater than 1,000 ppm CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas heat forcing by the end of this century.

Such a massive increase from human sources does not include amplifying feedback emissions from global methane or CO2 stores such as those now apparently destabilizing in the Arctic. Such emissions could add an additional 20 to 30 percent or greater heat forcing on top of the human forcing, according to scientific estimates, by the end of this century.

The massive blow would be more than enough to trigger a hothouse extinction event — one that could well rival or exceed the Permian (also known as ‘the great dying’) in its ferocity due to the very rapid pace of the human heat accumulation.

IPCC impacts

(IPCC impacts graphic taking into account the RCP 8.5 scenario. Image source: IPCC.)

During 2013, the greatest CO2 emitter by a wide margin was China at nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 all on its own. The US came in a distant second at about 5.5 billion tons with India nearing the 2 billion ton mark and taking the dubious rank of #3 CO2 emitter.

Overall, the pace of emission increase was slightly slower than during 2012, which showed a 2.5% increase over 2011. The lag was due, in part, to slowing economic growth in coal-reliant China. The massive emitter has lately shown trends toward lowering its carbon out-gassing as it half-heartedly pushes for cleaner air and less coal use. The US, on the other hand, showed a jump in carbon emissions as a trend toward greater natural gas usage whip-lashed back toward coal due to higher natural gas prices.

Greater adoption of renewable energy has slowed global carbon emission from absolute worst case levels. However, the pace of renewable adoption and increasing energy efficiency is not yet enough to knock the world off the horrific RCP 8.5 track. Such a switch would require a much stronger commitment from India and China together with an ever more rapid pace of transition away from fossil fuels for the developed world. To this point, both India and China have ominously opted out of a global climate summit to be held at the UN tomorrow. There, 120 global leaders will push for ways to rapidly reduce carbon emissions. But without buy-in from India and China, such measures may well be overwhelmed by increasing emissions from these very large and increasingly heavily mechanized Asian economies.

CO2 minimum september

(Global CO2 concentrations as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)

Meanwhile, global CO2 levels were hovering near their annual minimum at just above 395 parts per million after hitting a maximum level near 402 parts per million in May of 2014. At current rates of increase, global CO2 is likely to remain above the 400 parts per million concentration year-round within less than three years.

For context, the last time CO2 levels were this high, global temperatures were 2-3 degrees Celsius hotter than they were today and sea levels were at least 75 feet higher. But since humans emit a number of other powerful greenhouse gasses, the global CO2 measure alone doesn’t take into account the entire picture. If all other human heat trapping gasses are added in, the global CO2 equivalent heat forcing (CO2e) is around 481 ppm, which is enough to increase temperatures, long-term by about 3.8 degrees Celsius and to melt more than half of the world’s current ice sheets.

At the current pace of emission it will take less than 30 years to lock in a 550 ppm CO2 equivalent value — enough to melt all the ice on Earth and to raise temperatures by between 5 and 6 degrees Celsius long-term.

As such, the need for rapid transition to renewables together with reduction in harmful consumption could hardly be more urgent. With ever more harmful impacts being locked in with each passing year, the world needed strong global climate policy action yesterday. But action today will be better than waiting another decade or more as the situation continues to worsen.

Links:

The Global Carbon Project

The Global Carbon Budget 2014

World Carbon Emissions Hit Record High during 2013

Global Rise Reported in 2013 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Keeling Curve

Global Carbon Project Carbon Atlas

IPCC

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65 Comments

  1. Sad to think that all this marching and sign making is, in actuality, a tragic exercise in futility.
    Makes you feel good though – before buying your next airline ticket.

    We’re in a predicament. And unlike a problem, there’s no solution to a predicament.

    NTHE – it’s what’s for dinner.

    Reply
  2. Mark from New England

     /  September 22, 2014

    Great articles Robert. Though we may firmly be on the high emissions scenario trend line, I hope humanity can turn this thing around by the end of the decade. For that to happen, I believe the display of awareness and action from this weekend needs to deepen and become more radical so that the fossil-fuel PTB see no choice but to do the right thing and leave significant reserves in the ground. And I’ve certainly got to do my part both in the household and in activism.

    Reply
    • The larger protests this weekend were more broad based. Flood Wall Street is more radical. We’ve got multiple fronts moving at this point and the movement is growing in strength.

      Reply
  3. The #1 and #3 CO2 emitters, China and India, will not be attending this week’s UN Climate Summit in NYC. Will the #2 emitter, the U.S., only pay lip-service to the event?

    Reply
    • Good question…

      Reply
    • To an extent it’s understandable.

      From the POV of the Chinese.. they saw us industrialize first. And more than that – we (ok ‘we as in British’) used the power granted by industrialization to humiliate them. So if we are now going to them and saying that they should stop industrializing – which is how they see it – why should they listen? Especially when it’s obvious that we are not giving up anything.

      If we’d spent the last 20-odd years developing and deploying solutions on a realistic scale – which for me would include things like Uranium and thorium breeder reactors, fuel synthesis, that sort of thing -we’d have been able to say things like ‘We won’t take your imports if you keep burning coal, BUT here’s some technology that you can use instead..’ – and the disaster of the last 10-15 years of breakneck-pace coal plant construction could have been averted.

      Reply
      • Andrew, you made valid points. However, this isn’t any longer about East-West relations or industrialization. Climate change poses an existential threat to human civilization on this planet, and it’s happening at a much faster pace than most people had imagined. Unless we put our differences behind us, and work together to transition the world towards clean energy and sustainable growth, those historical grievances you illustrated will become tragically moot.

        Reply
  4. Griffin

     /  September 22, 2014

    Thank you for the great post Robert! I was hoping you could offer some insight for us related to an earlier post. DT Lange had provided a great link to an article about Professor Wadhams’ recent observations and projections of the decline of Arctic sea ice.
    Today at the Royal Society conference, Professor Wadhams spoke in front of his peers. I happened to follow along on Twitter. Wadhams was not only attacked, his credibility was shredded, to the point of mockery. Not by denialists mind you, but by fellow scientists! Including, and perhaps led by (or at least encouraged by) none other than Gavin Schmidt. I found this to be odd behavior from such an influential figure as Gavin. I understand about disagreements on the scientific front but public ridicule seemed a little out of line for NASA’s chief scientist.
    I would not ever expect anyone to try to explain why someone else said or did anything and I certainly don’t know either man from a hole in the wall but I was wondering if you or anyone else knew some background to this. Is Wadhams considered to be an outcast by his peers?
    If anyone is curious as to what I am referring to here, it was #RSArctic14 on Twitter.

    Reply
    • bassman

       /  September 22, 2014

      Griffen, I’m with you on this, I to read Gavin’s tweets in the morning. Granted he did specifically state why he disagreed:

      “@ClimateOfGavin: Prochutinsky makes brave ‘speculative’ projection of Arctic ice. Opposite to Wadhams, but equally supported (ie not at all) #RSArctic14”

      Gavin is at least consistent but twitter is just to easy to say something harsher than necessary.

      Keep in mind the future political pressure Gavin could experience (GOP majority threatening funding). It happened in Canada, don’t think it can’t happen here again. He might be just trying to overemphasize his impartiality.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  September 23, 2014

        Thanks bassman, and believe me, I certainly know how words can seem harsher when written vs. spoken. Many times I have looked back at something and realized that it looked much worse than what I meant! It is good to know it wasn’t just me that noticed it. I can understand that there is an inherent problem in speaking in front of scientists if you do not have sufficient data to back up a hypothesis (such as an ice free Arctic summer), but I guess I expected more of a high-road rebuttal versus the way I took the comments to read. Anyway, with the way things are going, Wadhams might have the last laugh.
        On a related note, Jason Box has expressed concerns over methane releases, maybe not to the extent of Wadhams, but he has spoken about it. Gavin seems to give me the impression of a man rolling his eyes when the subject of the release of Arctic methane is brought up. he clearly does not agree on the 50GT release scenario and has mentioned that he maintains it is not possible any time soon. He tweeted it about it again today, that there is no scientific justification for a projection like that. I am fine with that, that’s great news if it’s true, but I am uneducated on the subject enough to interpret his stance on methane as meaning that there is nothing for me to worry about. Then I read about Jason Box’s “Dragon’s breath” blog post regarding methane and I have to admit, I question Dr. Schmidt’s methods of communication.
        He confuses the hell out of me.
        I just think that in the polarized world of the subject of our changing planet, criticism leveled in a careless way can result in not only damage to the scientist, but to the topic at hand as well.
        Hopefully in the future, a careful study of an actual increase in methane levels in the Arctic is not dismissed prematurely by some as an extension of Professor Wadhams hypothesis. Hopefully I make sense with what I am trying to say!

        Reply
        • For a lead scientist at NASA, Gavin can sometimes act in a rather immoderate and seemingly insecure fashion. Note that Hansen was never one to outright downplay concerns over the risk of environmental methane release. In fact, he brought those potential risks, however seemingly low, to the forefront. This is appropriate when dealing with a risk of the scale represented by large scale Arctic methane release.

          When we look at the science in the context of risk we should consider what is most likely, what is least likely and what is most dangerous. A single year 50 GT release would be on the scale of most dangerous but less likely. More likely is that BAU emissions result in an Arctic feedback on the order of 10 to 100 GT methane over the course of the next century. Consensus Arctic science points to 30 GT under BAU and 10 GT under rapid response.

          Note that we hit 3GT in one century under current estimated release. This range of measures should be cause for concern. That said, my opinion is that Gavin’s vehemence may well rest in his perception of a downplaying of the role of CO2. In this aspect, I agree with Gavin. CO2 is the primary warming governor. It’s just that the methane feedback appears like it can get messy and, perhaps, wag the CO2 based heating dog from time to time.

          Overall, Gavin and Archer appear to be on the side of stupendously conservative when it comes to the issue of Arctic methane release — downplaying the potential size of the release at almost every turn. Even worse, Schmidt has not given a range of Arctic methane emission that he views as likely, which only adds to the confusion.

      • Spike

         /  September 23, 2014

        “Keep in mind the future political pressure Gavin could experience (GOP majority threatening funding). It happened in Canada, don’t think it can’t happen here again. He might be just trying to overemphasize his impartiality”

        I do wonder if this has a subconscious impact on some scientists, perhaps a group think type of situation, or a bias towards at least being cautious and “balanced” (in the political rather than scientific sense) in what they state in public. In the UK we have one climate scientist at the (state funded) Met Office who has stated that he doesn’t necessarily see 2C as a disaster for the climate and that most climate scientists don’t, with the caveat that some studies suggest Greenland’s ice may be past a tipping point then !! With increasing right wing neo-liberal ascendancy in the UK, and a possible right wing coalition in 2015 espousing climate denial, such a “balanced” position could confer evolutionary advantages career wise.

        We already see how the BBC has become very neutered in its news coverage following the onslaught it suffered after the Hutton enquiry on its Iraq WMD coverage. It has retreated into timid tepidity in its coverage of much news, fearing to step outside a comfortable consensus and suffering massive loss of credibility in the recent coverage of the Scottish referendum.

        To take another situation we have a cull of badgers in the UK proceeding against virtually unanimous independent expert scientific advice, supposedly to control bovine TB. But scientists and veterinarians in government employ are silent, and some are administering the policy with gusto. I can see why – they have families to provide for.

        Scientists will come under increasing pressure I fear to hush up, get back to the laboratory, and concentrate on their obscure papers in the specialist journals.

        Reply
    • The jury is still out on what will happen to sea ice and related methane deposits below. In my view, it’s rather inappropriate for Schmidt to attack Wadhams in this way. Wadhams is a reputable scientist and a well established member of the community. He is a bit more out on the cutting edge than Schmidt, but that’s no reason to attack the man’s reputation.

      In any case, given the 2014 melt season, it appears less likely we will see near zero sea ice coverage by 2017. We have volume in the range of 2007 area and extent are slightly less than 2013. That said, the arctic is currently very unstable and it is my view that Wadhams is a voice that matters.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  September 23, 2014

        Well, I think I was pecking at the keyboard for 45 minutes on my last reply to bassman. I could have just read your reply Robert and saved myself the time!! You said it perfectly, and thank you for helping to clear that up!

        Reply
      • Phil

         /  September 23, 2014

        Wadham’s like S&S and Box also specialise in the arctic. Not sure if Schmidt and Archer spend as much time in the arctic or are more general specialists.

        Interesting that the issue of methane release in the arctic has been raised by scientists who spend alot of time in the arctic.

        Interesting also that NASA CARVE project got carved off into another project by NASA and the head of that project I think now is at Harvard. Have not heard much from NASA about any methane found in the arctic over the last year or two.

        Reply
  5. We can’t pump all that carbon into the atmosphere without something eventually happening.

    We may disagree about exactly what will happen, but for sure, something is going to happen.

    And if we don’t know exactly how bad this “something” is going to be, doesn’t it make sense to stop pumping all that carbon into our air?

    It’s a bit like kicking a dog. You know it’s going to do something in response to your unwelcome kicking, but you have absolutely no idea what it will be. So why do it.

    Politicians and those controlling the mega wealth are the only ones who can implement appropriate action, but they won’t. Their agendas and other interests lure them away from listening to advice from the experts.

    This cartoon covers that aspect . . . .

    http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/#jp-carousel-775

    Cheers
    Mick

    Reply
  6. Does anyone see us hitting the worst case scenario in the long run due to normal industry and making more iPhones or by waging war?

    With the climatic disruptions we are seeing, as they accelerate and the impacts expand will we begin the task of wiping one another out before then? Would the droughts we see, forest fires, flash flood downpours, lost river deltas due to ocean increase & salt intrusion push us to our inevitable conclusion before 2100?

    Expanding population concurrent with depletion of resources and a disrupted climate makes me wonder what shape humanity will be in when the calendar clicks over to 2100.

    Reply
    • Continued fossil fuel burning = worst case. Which almost certainly leads to conflict over diminished resources.

      Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  September 23, 2014

      If anyone from Hollywood reading this wants to make a science-fiction dystopia that could educate the masses and perhaps help to avert the very future it portrays; please make a movie showing an Earth 4 to 5 C warmer in 2090 that portrays the havoc wreaked by a meter or more of sea level rise, widespread crop failures and food shortages, mass extinctions, storms of a magnitude we can’t imagine, etc. And not another unlikely sensationalist world like that portrayed in “Day After Tomorrow”, but something more in line with realistic projections. That’s scary enough and is a movie we need. Is Grant Cameron up to it?

      Reply
  7. Griffin, Aside from Gavin’s style, Its not such a bad thing that the climate community is critical of each other from time to time. After all we need to demonstrate how true skepticism works.

    I appreciate the discussion on here about policy and politics in relation to climate change. But I’ll admit, I often don’t feel inclined to comment on these topics as I feel as a community we have been repeating ourselves over and over again for the past 5 years. I have to admit I’m far more interested in the scientific side of it. That being said I have a few thoughts on environmentalism and politics as of late.

    One could easily argue that focusing on climate change alone distracts from the bigger issue of population growth and the increasing resource use to match how most westerners are currently living (I’m guilty myself). One could argue in return that climate change will likely be the ultimate irreversible consequence of this population growth. Either way, I think it won’t be until we have continuous jarring climatological events to motivate voters enough to act on climate legislation. Is this scenario 10, 20 or 30 years off and by then will we have doomed the AIS in addition to the entire NH ice.

    The current political environment buys polluters at least another decade more of BAU emissions. The GOP has many built in advantages in the senate even if they lose another presidential election. The EPA alone can only do so much. I’m not optimistic.

    All that being said, I have to so I really hope Gavin is right and some of these other scientists are wrong. A more rapidly disappearing arctic sea ice or any massive methane release will take us to a future I didn’t want to see in my lifetime.

    Reply
  8. james cole

     /  September 23, 2014

    Bit off the topic, but I saw pictures posted on the internet from a new National geographic article on the California drought. The shrinking reservoirs in “before” and “after” pictures will truly shock you out of your seat. While California is prone to drought even without global warming, if their droughts do get amplified by our CO2 laden atmosphere, well then so much the worse.
    Economically speaking, the drive for short term profits requires that the cheapest and most productive energy be tapped to get this quarters corporate profit number. We all know oil and natural gas are the energy rich sources for economic growth at maximum profit. So the incentive of corporate capitalism is biased toward using as much energy from oil and gas as possible. I know corporate types and I know conservative economists who run the university, corporate and government energy dynamic. To be blunt, they would rather fight than switch. They take every opportunity to basically, as the British say “Take the Piss” on all forms of alternative energy. Though the rational mind knows that millions of jobs would be created by the switch, the boys who run America, are Oil Men, and they are not giving in anytime soon. The basic physics of fossil fuel burning and the atmospheric chemistry of CO2 end up in the simplest terms giving global warming as a no brainer result. I tell deniers that any decent 9th grade high school physics class can prove the CO2 and fossil fuel warming effect. Either with experiment or equations or both. This makes no inroads, I am just ignored.

    Reply
  9. James, Just got National Geographic subscription for my son’s fundraiser. I hope I get that in the next edition. It will be interesting to see how attitudes in California react to the drought in terms of climate change. Texans seemed to miss the point entirely during their prolonged drought.

    Reply
  10. Mark from New England

     /  September 23, 2014

    If anyone has the chance, I highly recommend watching the first segment of tonight’s (Sept. 22) ‘Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart. He covered the climate march and was incredulous about the stupidity of the House Republicans on the Environment, Space and Technology Committee. It was hilarious and right on. If I can link to it later, I will…

    Reply
  11. Thanks Robert.
    The fact that China, India and Australia will not be present at these climate talks says it all.
    It’s simply out of control.
    Burn baby, burn :-((

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  September 23, 2014

      I hope their decision not to attend is to avoid an association with possible failure rather than a decision made to ensure it.

      Reply
  12. Here’s a quick piece from Reuters w/ photos and in depth captions:
    Flood Wall Street protest
    Demonstrators march through New York’s financial district to protest climate change.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/23/pictures-report-idUSRTR47AMR

    Reply
  13. California wildfires send waves of smoke, particulates as far as Canada
    Smoke from wildfires raging in Northern California has reached far beyond the state’s borders to affect Utah, Michigan and even Canada, according to NASA.

    The fires, including the massive King fire in Eldorado National Forest, have been sending large amounts of smoke and particulate matter into the sky, prompting waves of air quality warnings and several outdoor events, including an Ironman triathlon, to be canceled.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-wildfires-smoke-nasa-20140922-story.html

    Reply
  14. doug

     /  September 23, 2014

    Last I checked, none of us on this site are climate scientists. Therefore I find it a bit funny that people are criticizing Gavin Schmitt who IS highly regarded among climate scientists, on climate science questions…

    Maybe the armchair climate scientists here, would like to post your criticisms of him over at the site he, and several other highly regarded climate scientists run-www.realclimate.org You can do it under the section entitled “unforced variations” because that is meant for general climate science discussions.

    A bit of a warning though. Be prepared to get your ass handed to you, by if not one of the scientists, then one of the very well informed commenters. (They know a lot more about climate science than anything I’ve seen on this site)

    Reply
    • bassman

       /  September 23, 2014

      Doug, Gavin is usually great, that’s why I follow him on twitter.

      Reply
    • Danabanana

       /  September 23, 2014

      “Therefore I find it a bit funny that people are criticizing Gavin Schmitt who IS highly regarded among climate scientists, on climate science questions… ”

      We’ll know who’s right by 2017…

      Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  September 23, 2014

      These be some of the same scientists who were predicting NO severe ice melt until 2050-2075? To Hell with Gavins “reputation” it is supposed to be about the data, NOT big egos and fancy titles. Schmitt is now a big bureaucrat. All bureaucrats must, first and foremost, protect themselves and their institutions. Call me biased, but in the last 30 years or so I have seen a pattern of most of our bureaucratic institutions becoming corrupted, bloated and filled with careerists to the point that they no longer serve the purposes they were created for. No one is going to stop burning carbon anyway so who cares anymore. Maybe I’ll buy a car (gave it up 5 years ago) and start eating beef again. I feel like I gave up some things for nothing. All these assholes with their kids and over-sized homes and SUV’s and non-stop consuming acting like there is no problem are not worth it. I never had kids. I hardly get invited anywhere anymore, even family stuff, because most people do NOT want to hear it. Silence. I am almost always met by silence. I know they know. Not as much as us watchers, but they know.

      Reply
      • Gavin is a leading scientist. Sadly, he’s taken a rather absolutist position on the issue of methane release. I hope he’s right but I’m not hitching my cart to that horse without far stronger proofs.

        Reply
    • Doug —

      You’re right. Gavin is a leading scientist among a community of scientists who have yet to provide sound consensus findings on the issue of methane release. We have Arctic specialists who continue to issue warnings that Gavin continues to professionally take issue with. And we have a growing list of scientists, including Gavin’s mentor Hansen, who show very strong concern over the issue.

      Since the science is not settled it is entirely appropriate to provide analysis, discussion and tracking on the issue of methane release and on the larger scientific discussion. To treat Real Climate as the single authority on this matter and to suggest that those who do not agree with Gavin go there to be ‘spanked’ is highly inappropriate and rather absurd. In any case, a good number here have had numerous lengthy discussions with Archer and Schmidt with the result being the same — a reiteration of slow release theory, and a downplaying of instances of broader release from the Arctic environment.

      For my part, I feel it is responsible to keep the discussion and analysis open, especially given the clearly visible ghg overburden in Arctic regions, the growing list of concerned Arctic scientists, the growing list of methane sources (including this year’s methane blow holes in Siberia), and a very rapid pace of Arctic warming that is likely without precedent.

      That said, I will continue to read what Gavin has to say and consider it in the context of other evidence and informed scientific opinion. In the end, I hope he’s right. But, currently, he’s providing little comfort.

      Reply
  15. ivice

     /  September 23, 2014

    Without No. 1 and 2 emitters this summit is meant to be a failure.
    But we shouldn’t place the blame only at them- this is happening probably with the silent blessing and full cheering of the U.S.
    We need to shut down all industrialized acticity- except for nuclear power plants maintenance and toxic waste and common garbage placement/ handling.
    No other way out.
    Germany with its forced switch to so- called renewables (manufacture, deployment,maintenance by mostly fossil fuel- powered equipment) has resulted in a 3,9% rise in their CO2- emissions.
    We are simply too many, and too energy- hungry, dependant on -until now- convenient fossil fuels.
    The exponential population growth should have been addressed in the ’90s, because that’s the root of all evils…

    Reply
    • vardarac

       /  September 24, 2014

      Find an ethical way to do it and you have my vote.

      Reply
      • ivicze

         /  September 24, 2014

        Well, the politicians and leaders should have been telling us long ago:
        don´t multiply, don´t have children, because we cannot guarantee a real future for them.
        But they are much shorter sighted than that amidst of all the huge contributions from the “infinite monetary growth” industry.
        The kicker, that their own children and grandchildren are going to die a horrible death as we, don´t make up for the destruction of a whole planetary ecosystem.

        Reply
  16. Tom

     /  September 23, 2014

    http://inhabitat.com/german-village-produces-500-of-its-energy-from-renewable-sources/
    German Village Produces 500% of its Energy from Renewable Sources

    Wildpoldsried, a Bavarian village of about 2,600 residents, is leading the way in Germany’s extraordinary renewable energy transformation. Over the past 17 years, the village has invested in a holistic range of renewable energy projects that include 4,983 kWp of photovoltaics, five biogas facilities, 11 wind turbines and a hydropower system. As a result, the village has gone beyond energy independence – and it now produces 500% more energy than it needs and profits from sales of the surplus power back to the grid.

    Yeah, it all looks good on paper, but the fossil fuels that produce, transport, erect and maintain it all is running out. ivice – I agree except that the population problem should have been addressed much further back (and how exactly would we “address” it anyway – forced sterilization, abortions of more than one child per family? – i’m not sure the masses would go for this).

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  September 23, 2014

      Yeah, it all looks good on paper, but the fossil fuels that produce, transport, erect and maintain it all is running out.

      As are the fossil fuels that produce transport erect and maintain all fossil fuel installations/products.

      When a renewable facility is up and running those inputs are very low.

      Reply
      • vardarac

         /  September 24, 2014

        Algae-based fuel will be the nearest solution… At least, as long as there is carbon feedstock to maintain it.

        Christ. We really are in trouble.

        Reply
  17. And there are now 6 new cars manufactured EVERY SECOND!
    http://www.planetoscope.com/automobile/76-production-mondiale-de-voitures.html

    Tick, tock, tick, tock – that was 24 new cars !

    Reply
  18. Kevin Jones

     /  September 23, 2014

    beckjeremy: thanks for the site. Hmmmm. 6×3600= 23,600 new ‘voitures’ per hour! Thanks for the cup of Instant Headache!🙂

    Reply
    • I had to do this after reading that statistic.

      How much carbon?

      12,000 mile average per year per passenger vehicle (cars, minivans, pick-ups, vans and SUVs) ÷ 25.5 average miles per gallon

      = 470.6 average gallons per year

      × 17.68 average pounds of CO2 per gallon of gas

      = 8,320 pounds of CO2 per vehicle per year

      23,600 per hour = 196,352,000 pounds of CO2 added to our pollution per hour (98,176 tons)

      8760 hours / year * 98,176 tons = 860,021,760 tons added to output / year.

      It takes 9 trees to offset 1 cars output per year. Thus we need to plant / propagate 54 trees / second to offset these emissions. 212,400 per hour. 1,860,624,000 per year.

      Basically we need almost 2 billion added trees per year (plus more to offset what we are chopping down / burning) to simply offset all of these vehicles.

      ************************************************************************

      I took the emissions statistic from here:

      http://www.americanforests.org/a-carbon-conundrum/

      Reply
  19. It is time for the inevitable. In Montecito, where the rich and famous live the drought has hit very hard. Everyone ordered to cut back dramatically, or face fines, with giant estates Montecito is in dire straights.

    However, when you are a 1%’er what’s a little old drought? That is for the “little people to suffer”.

    Solution? Truck in water, thousands of gallons per day. And why? To water your pretty lawn!

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/california-drought-lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-parched-110305.html#.VCFyVFfTujE

    (*safe harbor statement: I am not affiliated with the linked website. I do not claim to support their views by linking the site or it’s contents. I am just linking a story from the internet*)

    Reply
  20. Mark from New England

     /  September 23, 2014

    Here’s a link to last night’s Daily Show covering the climate march and House Republicans on climate change:

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/stewart-blows-up-on-gop-over-climate-change-pushing-a-million-pounds-of-idiot-up-a-mountain/

    Reply
  21. Kevin Jones

     /  September 23, 2014

    Thanks, Mark. Still decompressing from that very good day in NYC. I NEEDED this!

    Reply
  22. bassman

     /  September 23, 2014

    Robert, big conference on sea ice

    https://royalsociety.org/events/2014/arctic-sea-ice/

    Any plans on a blog posting about the presentations (Jennifer Francis)? Some of the comments on twitter sound like new information worth a look if these presentations are made available to the public.

    Reply
    • bassman

       /  September 23, 2014

      Some tweets just now:

      @RozPidcock: Francis: We can be confident jet stream winds are slowing down, evidence for “extreme waviness” is looking convincing too #RSArctic14

      @icey_mark: Francis: so.. Sea ice loss in Arctic over Kara Sea and Barents Sea creates a particular atmospheric circulation pattern #RSArctic14

      @icey_mark: Francis: so that changes snowfall and ultimately polar vortex weaker (Cohen et al 2014) #RSArctic14

      @icey_mark: Francis: weaker polar vortex leads to wave jet stream and then we end up with “stuck” weather. Several studies agree #RSArctic14

      Reply
  23. Apneaman

     /  September 23, 2014

    How Capitalists Control Mass Movements
    NGOs Are Cages
    by STEPHANIE MCMILLAN

    “We really need to understand the methods used by NGOs* to undermine radical political organizing efforts and divert us into political dead ends. The People’s Climate March is a good case study because it’s so blatant.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/22/ngos-are-cages/

    Reply
  24. Kevin Jones

     /  September 23, 2014

    Apneaman: Since the day I was sent to Federal Prison for two years for refusing induction I have spent every slim blue- collar dime I ever earned promoting sanity, truth, justice. I’ve received not one dollar for my efforts…contrary to the periodic claims from assholes like the far right and counterpunch -like ilk. Mitch Snyder was my blood brother. So were Russell Means and Dennis Banks for two precious weeks. According to his widow, I was Phil Berrigans’ funeral director. Please let me know when you honor your sacred life with thoughtful contribution.

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  September 23, 2014

      I don’t know who any of those people are. The story was about the mistake of getting in bed with corporations via NGO’s. I hope you receive all the honors and recognition you feel you deserve for your contribution.

      Reply
      • Jacob

         /  September 23, 2014

        I know who Russell Means was, I knew of him first as Chingachcook in ‘The Last of the Mohicans’. It was only afterwards that I learned he was an American Indian activist. As far as I know he was a great guy. He passed away a couple of years back. A great loss for us all.

        Reply
  25. Kevin Jones

     /  September 23, 2014

    Thanks Jacob. For those interested in a tribute to a great man Google On Wounded Knee from the New York Times

    Reply
  26. Kevin Jones

     /  September 23, 2014

    After Russell Means died the New York Times published an extremely powerful reflection on his rough/tough/imperfect yet truly heroic life. I could always retrieve it by simply typing in: On Wounded Knee’ Guess what?

    Reply
  27. Kevin Jones

     /  September 23, 2014

    Apneaman: I apologize for my fatigued arrogance. Locate the PBS segment of We Shall Remain, the one about the 1973 resistance at Pine Ridge, if interested.

    Reply
  28. I was just reading a study on indoor air quality, specifically CO2 and the study showed a noticable impairment of thinking and reasoning by participants at 1000 ppm and a really big drop off in ability at 2500 ppm.. Seeing 1000 ppm in large offices, hotels, etc with an atmospheric level of 400ppm is not all that uncommon so 2500 is going to be the norm if it gets to 1000ppm by 2100 because the only cost effective way to remove it is bring in outdoor air (Make-up Air).

    Since Mankind has never existed with atmospheric levels this high it is really impossible to judge what the long term effects of prolonged exposure to higher than historical norm levels of CO2.

    Reply
  1. Será que a Humanidade Está a Dar a Volta ao Aquecimento Global? | Aquecimento Global Descontrolado
  2. Carbon dioxide emissions 2013 – China, the United States, India and Russia | ClimatePositions

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