Advances in Earth Science: From Earthquakes to Global by P. R. Sammonds, J M T Thompson, J. M. T. Thompson

By P. R. Sammonds, J M T Thompson, J. M. T. Thompson

If you would like an concept of the place present earth technological know-how examine is heading. however the first bankruptcy on assessing the dangers of now not addressing carbon emissions is well worth the cost of admission.

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1. Introduction Debate over how, when, and even whether, human-made greenhouse gas emissions should be controlled has grown in its intensity even faster than 3 May 17, 2007 23:23 WSPC/SPI-B424 From Earthquakes to Global Warming 4 ch01 D. S. Reay the levels of greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. Many argue that the costs involved in reducing emissions outweigh the potential economic damage of human-induced climate change. Exaggerated claims and forecasts of climate meltdown in the media have naturally given rise to both fervent belief in, and hardened scepticism of, measures to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

S. Reay the possibility of catastrophic climate change would seem to justify GHG abatement even where significant short-term costs are incurred. Contrary to the assertions of the current US administration, the cuts proposed under the Kyoto Protocol appear both economically viable and vital as a basis for future international GHG abatement. An area with huge potential for cost-effective GHG abatement is that of personal emissions. In industrialised countries, like the UK, implementing relatively modest lifestyle changes can make large savings in both the GHG emissions and energy costs of individuals.

Although a small pool, it is the carbon stocks in the atmosphere, mainly in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2 ), but also more potently in the form of methane (CH4 ), that provide the direct link with climate change. Fig. 1 Main components of the contemporary natural carbon cycle. The thick arrows represent gross primary production and respiration by the biosphere and physical sea-air exchange. The thin arrows denote natural fluxes which are important over longer timescales. Dashed lines represent fluxes of carbon as calcium carbonate.

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