The elephant in the living room

It’s sitting there - but we’d prefer it wasn’t and others deny it’s existence - some say we can live with it. So here is some data about the elephant:

  • 500 billion tons of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution.
  • The seas have absorbed about half of that - slowing global warming (if it had stayed in the atmosphere).
  • The acidity of ocean surface water has increased by 30% as a result of carbon dioxide emissions.
  • As the seas become more acidic, they will be less able to absorb carbon dioxide, causing more of it to stay in the atmosphere to speed up global warming.
  • Eleven of the last 12 years rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature.
  • Emissions of all the “greenhouse gas” pollutants that cause global warming increased 70 per cent between 1970 and 2004.
  • Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now “exceed by far” anything that the Earth has experienced in the past 650,000 years.

Seems we have about 7 years to deal with the elephant or it turns into a mammoth.

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