Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's getting hot in here

The Register reports that CO2 levels are at their highest ever in nearly a million years:

Ice cores reveal historic heights of CO2

Deep ice cores from Antarctica reveal there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than at any time in the last 800,000 years.

The data comes from analysis of tiny air bubbles buried 3.2km down in the Antarctic ice sheets. These provide a record of the ancient atmosphere and give insight into how climate was affected by CO2 levels in the past.

I am sure there will be those that come out and say this could still be a natural cycle and human activity isn't the cause of the "hockey stick" hike in all things warm.

But my question is this: "So what?"

Take away the causative and the problem still remains. If it does turn out that humans are not the cause of the changes in our environment that are inevitably leading to climate catastrophe, does that mean that we should sit by and do nothing and let it all happen?

It has been a while since humans have accepted what nature has to offer, and not to meddle, so this would be a refreshing change. But what would be the outcome? C02 rises, and the temperature increases. Greenland melts. The sea rises - perhaps by 6.5 meters. Historically, severe climate change always occurs in response to high CO2 levels.

And billions of people lose the means to survive.

Clearly something would need to be done to avoid this no matter what the cause is. And the first thing to do to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is to stop dumping more of it in there - ie cut emissions, and to stop removing the planets capability to sink the carbon that is there. By not chopping down the plantlife that achieves this.

Get on with it.

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