“At the present pace, there seems little likelihood that international negotiations will be able to … avoid ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’ with the climate”

11 Nov 2009

In article in Environmental Research Letters from October 2009, climate scientist Michael MacCracken argues that the world has made so little progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions that we need to start contemplating geoengineering approaches to counteract climate change:

Global climate change is becoming more apparent and worrisome; at the same time, global emissions of the greenhouse gases that force climate change are continuing to increase. At the present pace, there seems little likelihood that international negotiations will be able to stabilize atmospheric composition at a level that will avoid `dangerous anthropogenic interference’ with the climate system, as called for in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Complicating the situation, as emissions of carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants are reduced, the associated decrease in sulfur dioxide emissions will lead to a reduction in the offsetting cooling influence of the resulting sulfate aerosols. Exposing the full warming influence of the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases will further complicate the transition to climate stabilization.


books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Mason's favorite books »