From dying coral reefs to fires and coastal flooding, the effects of climate change are already being felt around the world. And it will only get worse.
A 2018 report from climate scientists from around the globe found that some of climate change’s disastrous consequences will be in full force if Earth’s temperature rises past 1.5 degrees--something that could happen as early as 2040 at current emissions rates.
This hour, we ask: besides reducing emissions, does the world need to look at ways to take carbon out of the atmosphere? From forests to machines that suck carbon out of the air, we learn more about “negative emissions” strategies.
And we also hear about another major climate change concern: the thawing of the permafrost. Researchers say the thawing of this polar ecosystem could be not only a consequence but also cause of worsening carbon emissions.
- Dr. Bill Keeton - Professor of Forest Ecology and Forestry at University of Vermont; he is the co-editor of Ecology and Recovery of Eastern Old-growth Forests
- Dr. Sabine Fuss - Head of the Sustainable Resource Management and Global Change working group at the Mercator Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin; she was an author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 2018 climate report
- Dr. Raj Saha - Lecturer at Bates College in Maine. He teaches climate modeling and the mathematics of climate change
New York Times: Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040 (October 2018) – “The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.”
Vox: Sucking carbon out of the air won’t solve climate change. But it might fill in a few key pieces of the clean energy puzzle (July 2018) – “To state the bottom line clearly: The ability to pull carbon out of the air is not a silver bullet. It is not the cheapest or most effective way to fight climate change. It won‘t allow us to bypass any of the hard work of reducing our emissions…But DAC is an interesting case, a tool that could potentially help in several places where current clean energy technologies are lacking, so let’s take a look at where it fits in and what it can do.”
VPR: Protecting Land And Storing Carbon: Nature Conservancy Taps A New Market For Conservation Projects (July 2018) – “A Nature Conservancy project in northern Vermont will store carbon to meet California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. The group says proceeds from the sale of these “carbon credits” will pay for future land protection projects.”
Yale Climate Connections - The permafrost bomb is ticking. We must act now to disarm it (Raj Saha, February 2018) – “The major side effect of a thawing permafrost is that it will further enhance global warming with the release of large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The permafrost contains organic matter, and thawing will enable bacterial decomposition that will release methane as a byproduct of anaerobic respiration.”
Chion Wolf contributed to this show.