Is It Hot In Here?
Posted November 11, 2009on:
With the Copenhagen Summit fast approaching, various global climate change awareness groups are coming out of the woodwork competing for our attention and more importantly our empathy and compassion. One such organization is 350.org. In a nutshell, they are saying that many scientists believe that we are way past the limit of CO2 levels in our atmosphere (you don’t say!). They actually have a number. They claim that the acceptable upper limit of CO2 levels should be hovering around 350 ppm or parts per million Carbon Dioxide. We are currently in the level of 385 ppm.
So what exactly does that mean? To put it simply, it means this.
The presence of too much CO2 in the atmosphere has made our world warmer (duh!). But seriously, I think its very cool that scientists have found a way to measure and track the quantity of CO2 in our atmosphere. Parts per million is a unit of measurement they came up with to measure the amount of CO2. Its just the ratio of the number of CO2 molecules to all the molecules present. Did I sound smart just about now? Now we also don’t want to swing to the other side of the spectrum by not having enough CO2 in the atmosphere. Scientists say that anything below 275 ppm would just be too cold for us. And so the the magic number is 350.
So what needs to be done to bring down the CO2 levels to 350. According to 350.org: “We need to stop taking carbon out of the ground and putting it into the air. Above all, that means we need to stop burning so much coal—and start using solar and wind energy and other such sources of renewable energy –while ensuring the Global South a fair chance to develop. If we do, then the earth’s soils and forests will slowly cycle some of that extra carbon out of the atmosphere, and eventually CO2 concentrations will return to a safe level.”
After watching An Inconvenient Truth this really isn’t earth shattering news (no pun intended) but the quantifiable manner 350.org presents the problem and solution to us makes me appreciate this a little more. Doesn’t it make the concept of carbon footprints more tangible? And to further drive this point, they’ve produced a cool video. While you enjoy this video, I will excuse myself and hop on the bike in my futile attempt to have a bod like these damn models!