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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Plans for Copenhagen by Leon Simons, Dutch Country Coordinator of the Global Youth Panel

Plans for Copenhagen

Hello everyone,

My name is Leon Simons, I just became the Dutch Country Coordinator of the Global Youth Panel. I wrote the following a few days ago and would like your opinions about it.:

According to Yvo de Boer, (executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)): the four essentials calling for an international agreement in Copenhagen are:

1. How much are the industrialized countries willing to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases?

2. How much are major developing countries such as China and India willing to do to limit the growth of their emissions?

3. How is the help needed by developing countries to engage in reducing their emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change going to be financed?

4. How is that money going to be managed?

“If Copenhagen can deliver on those four points I’d be happy,” says Yvo de Boer.

According to me (Leon Simons -- I have studied climate change by myself for over three years), this makes no sense at all in the real world, and Copenhagen should focus on these four essentials:

1. CO2 is now 38% higher as it has been in the last 2.1 million years (1) and modern levels have not been reached in the last 15 million years (2). 15 million years ago the world was 3 to 6 °C warmer and the sea-level 20 to 40 meters higher.

2. Aerosols are at least as important for the global climate as greenhouse gases are. Aerosols cause a cooling effect which might be as big as 2 °C (3) and thereby hide some of the warming effect of human made greenhouse gases.

3. The Arctic minimum sea-ice extend in September 2007 was 20% smaller than the all time low measurement in 2005. The mean IPCC 2007 models predicted this to happen only in 2040(4).

A sea-ice free arctic sounds nice to a lot of people when it comes to availability of new passages and resources. On the contrary it could lead to runaway global warming and sea level rise trough feedback mechanisms like decline in albedo, new sources of greenhouse gases and aerosols (melting permafrost, open ocean and methane hydrates) and warming and expanding sea water(5). Not to mention the collapse of the Greenland ice cap because of enhanced calving from sea water and rainfall(6).

4.Because of these threats, which the policy makers do not seem to realize or understand, there are gigantic measurements needed to keep the planet in its current, highly productive state. The scientific community is proposing things like: burying char in agricultural soils to raise productivity of the land and reduce the carbon dioxide in the air(7), man made output of aerosols in the stratosphere to keep the planet cool(8), building a dam between Alaska and Siberia to reduce the flow from warm water into the arctic and keep the sea ice from melting(9) and many more.

Fossil CO2 emissions increased by 29% since 2000(10), while the natural carbon sinks are weakening(11).

Campaigning for a small emission reduction in a far away future will not lead to anything good.

Thank you. 



Leon said...

It's truly an honor to be in your blog! :-)

Leon said...

It's truly an honor to be on your blog! :-)