2013-09-28. U.N. Climate Panel Endorses Ceiling on Global Emissions.

posted Oct 2, 2013, 11:58 AM by Alan Gould

For GSS Climate Change chapter 4. Excerpt: STOCKHOLM — The world’s top climate scientists on Friday formally embraced an upper limit on greenhouse gases for the first time, establishing a target level at which humanity must stop spewing them into the atmosphere or face irreversible climatic changes. They warned that the target is likely to be exceeded in a matter of decades unless steps are taken soon to reduce emissions. ...the panel endorsed a “carbon budget” for humanity — a limit on the amount of the primary greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, that can be produced by industrial activities and the clearing of forests. No more than one trillion metric tons of carbon could be burned and the resulting gases released into the atmosphere, the panel found, if planetary warming is to be kept below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above the level of preindustrial times. ...Just over a half-trillion tons have already been burned since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at the rate energy consumption is growing, the trillionth ton will be burned sometime around 2040, according to calculations by Myles R. Allen, a scientist at the University of Oxford and one of the authors of the new report....  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/science/global-climate-change-report.html. Justin Gillis, New York Times.