Daily Archives: August 9, 2017

Climate inaction will leave our kids a trillion dollar debt | Anthropocene

by Prachi Patel | Aug 3, 2017

Unless we drastically cut our carbon emissions, today’s young people will have to pay up to US$535 trillion to clean up the atmosphere, according to a new study. That’s how much it would cost them to remove carbon dioxide emissions from the air using negative emissions technologies to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

In 2015, 196 nations signed the Paris agreement to limit global warming to 2°C. But some experts believe even that won’t be enough to keep the climate from wreaking havoc. Hansen and his colleagues say that it would be better to bring carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere down from today’s 400 parts per million to a relatively safer 350 parts per million.

Reaching this goal won’t be possible just by limiting fossil fuel emissions, writes an international research team led by renowned climate researcher James Hansen, a professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, in the journal Earth System Dynamics. It will also require negative emissions, which involves sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

The most promising negative emissions technology is bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration. It involves growing crops that are burned to produce electricity, and capturing the resulting carbon emissions to store them deep underground. Another approach includes directly capturing carbon dioxide from the air. Neither technology has been tested at large scale.

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Scientists Fear Trump Administration Will Counter Climate Report : NPR

August 8, 20174:22 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered

Christopher Joyce

A comprehensive government report on climate change has leaked to the public. The report clearly states that humans are changing the climate, and the consequences could be serious. Those views are at odds with statements by many in the Trump administration.


A comprehensive government report on the state of the climate is getting attention after it was leaked to The New York Times. It states that human activity is definitely the cause of most global warming, especially over the past 60 years. That runs counter to what President Trump and many of his top advisers have said. Here to talk with us about it is NPR science correspondent Christopher Joyce. Hey, Chris.


SHAPIRO: Tell us about what’s in the report.

JOYCE: This report is a compendium of all the science that we’ve done in the country – in the world, really – since 2013 that’s new. And they’re coming up with some information they didn’t have before, things like more nuisance flooding – they can really see that – things like heat waves that they can actually attribute now to climate change where they couldn’t before. So they’re able to be more granular. They’re able to tell us more about climate.

SHAPIRO: It comes out in the context of a White House that has been very skeptical of man-made climate change. Tell us how the politics are playing out.

JOYCE: Well, a lot of the authors – and I’ve talked to several of them over the past few months – have been very concerned about this. This report is supposed to come out every four years. It’s been in progress for several years. They’ve been soldiering away, collecting the latest data. But after the election, obviously there was some concern.

Even President Obama put out an early draft right after the election in 2016 as sort of a way to say, look; I want people to know this is in process. So people are somewhat concerned. I don’t know why it was leaked, but certainly it’s a possibility that people thought, well, we should get it out so – in case it’s not – in case it’s suppressed.

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