Push aside any thoughts of delaying your move to Brisbane solar energy, now is the time for action. The latest news on emissions and climate change should make us all urgently committed to the task of transforming our behaviours for the sake of the planet and our kids.
The World Meteorological Organization’s latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that globally averaged concentrations of CO2 have reached another new record high. We now know that this is a continuing long-term trend, and the science is crystal clear on the link to climate change.
There’s a lot to get your head around, so we’ve simplified the scientific basics from the report here for you. We’d also like to get you thinking about what you can do to make a difference. Here at Energy Partners, we will continue to influence the energy landscape and help to educate individuals and businesses about the proven benefits of converting to different power sources. We are in critical times, and transitioning away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy is now a must.
The emissions science in the report.
The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that concentrations of carbon dioxide (globally averaged) reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017. The increase in CO2 from 2017 to 2018 was very close to that observed from 2016 to 2017 and just above the average over the last decade. What is important to know is that global levels of CO2 crossed the symbolic and significant 400 parts per million benchmark in 2015.
Note that ‘emissions’ represent what goes into the atmosphere, and ‘concentrations’ represent what remains in the atmosphere after the complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere, and the oceans. About a quarter of the total emissions is absorbed by the oceans and another quarter by the biosphere.
Also reported is that concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide surged by higher amounts than during the past decade, according to observations from the Global Atmosphere Watch network.
In summary, the report states that since 1990, there has been a 43% increase in the warming effect on the climate – labelled ‘total radiative forcing’ – by long-lived greenhouse gases. CO2 accounts for about 80% of this, since CO2 remains in the atmosphere for centuries, and in the oceans for even longer.
The WMO Secretary-General explains that the last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5 million years ago. Back then, the temperature was 2-3°C warmer, and the sea level was 10-20 metres higher than now.
Emissions targets and climate reality.
The experts are telling us that what we are being confronted with now is increasingly severe impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures, more extreme weather, water stress, sea level rise and disruption to marine and land ecosystems.
We are also being told that not enough is being done, and despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we need to step up the level of ambition for the sake of the future of mankind.
Major scientific organisations in climate change research insist that we are in a critical period as they underline the glaring and growing gap between agreed targets to tackle global warming and the actual reality.