[GWSG] CO2 from peat; in CA; C offsets; C in the air; 419 ppm; 4 mya; miserable goals; renewables in Africa

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Wed Jun 9 08:16:40 EDT 2021

1. Peatland bears plant remains which have not decomposed. When the land is drained, they do, and add carbon to the atmosphere in significant amounts. That seems to have happened in the past. The added carbon was sequestered in unspecified ways. The implication of the study is that we should add drained peatlands to the significant possible sources of atmospheric carbon. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/06/04/an-enormous-missing-contribution-global-warming-may-have-been-right-under-our-feet/

2. Modeling of Canadian peatland indicates that heating will produce a positive feedback, with increased heating leading to increased emissions, turning up the heat yet higher. https://phys.org/news/2021-06-climate-carbon-loss-canadian-peatland.html

3. Carbon offsets should last as long as the effects of the emissions they are offsetting. That is, since the effects of CO2 emissions can last for anywhere from briefly to hundreds of thousands of years, a fairly arbitrary but reasonable figure should be set for the effectiveness of the offset—say, 500 years. Forests, for example, won’t do as an offset unless the corporation using it provides for the forest’s failure or destruction.  Further, corporations should be legally bound in the present for the future effects of its emissions. Cleanup costs should be sequestered from the profits. https://theconversation.com/carbon-dioxide-lasts-for-centuries-so-should-carbon-offsets-161916

4. It is more useful to think of carbon as having a resonance rather than a residence in the atmosphere. The resonance generally attenuates with time. However, the more C the oceans absorb the less they will sequester, increasing the resonance in the atmosphere.  https://skepticalscience.com/co2-residence-time.htm

5. Atmospheric CO2 has hit 419 ppm, 50% higher than before the industrial revolution. https://phys.org/news/2021-06-carbon-dioxide-higher-preindustrial.html

6. 419 ppm of CO2 was last experienced over four million years ago. The conditions then suggest what is ahead for us unless we draw the CO2 down. https://www.npr.org/2021/06/07/1004097672/atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-fueling-climate-change-hits-a-four-million-year-high

7. An analysis by Oxfam and Swiss Re shows that even if the proposed national emissions cuts are carried through, by midcentury the G7 nations will be suffering at least twice the economic damage every year as they did during the COVID-19 crisis. Other economies, such as those of India, Australia, and South Korea, will suffer even worse damage. Obviously, we are setting our goals too low. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/07/climate-crisis-to-shrink-g7-economies-twice-as-much-as-covid-19-says-research

8. Boitumelo Kiepile, the Head of Regulatory Affairs for South Africa, reports that the country, and Africa generally, is already well into the transition to renewable energy. https://www.cnbcafrica.com/2021/renewable-energy-gains-momentum-in-africa/

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