Climate Change

Climate Change

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the so-called greenhouse gases. When rays of sun hit the earth, a part of the radiation is reflected by the earth’s surface. Due to the so-called greenhouse gases, part of the resulting heat radiation can no longer escape into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. The greenhouse effect and global warming are a natural process, which has, however, been increased by humans since the beginning of industrialization.  

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations fears more frequent heavy precipitation, the melting of glaciers, a decrease of snow-covered surfaces, the accelerated deterioration of the Arctic Circle and a resulting increase in sea levels as consequences of increased global warming.  

Carbon Emissions

Sources for greenhouse gas emissions, particular Carbon dioxide, of capital importance to the production are the transportation of raw materials or recyclables and the energy to operate machinery’s. Carbon emissions caused by production are different due to the following reasons:  

Transportation

As e.g. some paper mills are located at large forests and use the wood grown nearby other mills import the wood or pulp from far away. If for example the pulp for a paper produced in Europe is imported from Latin America distances of transportation of more than 10.000 kilometers are realistic. On the other hand recovered pulp is known for short distance transportation.  

Furthermore the kind of transportation has an impact on the amount of carbon emissions as trucks, trains, ships have different emission factors.  

The following table show carbon emission caused by burning of fossil fuels:

Fossil Fuel   Carbon emissions
Diesel   2.64 kg CO2/Liter
     

Production

A material source for greenhouse gas emissions caused by the production process is the energy used by the different machines. Electricity is produced by burning coal, oil, gas, wood, by nuclear power or by using regenerative methods such as sun, wind, geothermic or biomass.  

The burning of coal, oil, gas, or wood causes carbon emissions. The production of electricity using regenerative methods is carbon neutral.  

Energy Source Energy Mix Carbon emissions
Coal   0.9344 kg CO2/KWh
Nuclear   0.0000 kg CO2/KWh
Petroleum   0.8935 kg CO2/KWh
Natural Gas 100% 0.5687 kg CO2/KWh
Hydroelectric & Renewable   0.0000 kg CO2/KWh
Pumped Storage & other   0.0000 kg CO2/KWh
Total 100%  0.5687 kg CO2/KWh

Source: International Energy Agency, www.iea.org  

Global Warming

In this vast universe of ours, there is no other place so hospitable to live and its infinite variety. But today, climate change poses a clear and present danger. It threatens every species on earth. Increasing the number of extreme weather events that require international action. The time for leadership and meaningful initiatives is now!
As part of an intergovernmental effort under United Nation leadership, the world’s top scientists have concluded that the climate is changing. And they have issued urgent warnings about the future we can’t afford to ignore. The IPCC reports leave no room for doubt: global warming is a fact! And human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, industrial emissions and deforestation, are the main cause of climate change and it’s most dangerous side effects. The dramatic rise in greenhouse gases over the last 250 years, particularly carbon dioxide has caused temperatures to rise across the globe and this warning is rejected to accelerate at an alarming and dangerous base  

Science is a powerful witness. The world is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Dangerous atmospheric changes already observed in measure and will continue for decades. Changes and preservation patterns will intensify drought in some areas and aggravate flooding others. And as the world’s glaciers disappear and the oceans heat up, global sea levels may rise between 18 and 59 cm by the end of the century. The shrinking of Greenland’s ice sheets and a large scale of loss of ice of Antarctica could accelerate the problem with unpredictable speed. Small island nations, already victimizing by increasing storm surges, could one day be lost to the sea. As climate change disrupts nature’s balance, biodiversity suffers, in the oceans and on land. All of earth’s species are threatened. Some may disappear forever.  

Climate change could compound growing population pressures on food supplies. Over the long term, worldwide agriculture decreases drastically in all regions. And as always: the poorest are the most vulnerable. Agriculture could drop 50 % by 2020 in some African countries. Increasing malnutrition is under need for emergency aid.  

Nearly 1/6 of the world’s people rely on mountain glaciers for drinking water. Water supplies which are expected to decline significantly as these glaciers melt away.  

44 % of the world’s people live within 150 km of the coast and will be exposed to more frequent and more destructive storms and coastal flooding and rising sea levels which may overlie countries, islands and cities; cities like Alexandria, Calcutta, Dakar, Bangkok and Shanghai, homes to hundreds of millions of people. We will have to adopt. Regions that bear the least responsibility for what is happening will be among the hardest hit.  

We can shape a different future. The IPCC’s reports that have been endorsed by more than over 50 countries offer a range of options for moving forward together. Solutions exist – but there is no time to waste.  

First we must stabilize global greenhouse gas emissions. Then, according to the world’s scientists, we could limit the rise in global temperature to 2° C and prevent the most severe impacts of climate change if the world reduces its emissions by approximately 2/3rd by the year 2050.  

This must be a global effort and with real leadership it can be done. All of us must change our consumption patterns. Improved conservation and energy efficiency could help enormously without requiring nature expenditures. But it’s largely up to governments to ensure that the right choices are available and attractive. Like more efficient modes of transportation and better building coats.  

Better management of our forests can also clear a vital role, hoping the planet to heal itself by drawing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The IPCC also suggests we change the way we think about energy. The cost of fossil fuels should reflect their long-term impacts on climate change. A price on carbon emissions would encourage the development of alternative energy resources and that would help developing countries choose a more environmentally sustainable course.  

We must act together and we must act now! One way or another, the earth will survive. By acting together, the world’s leaders can ensure that we will too. And that the planet we leave behind for our children will be a place where they can thrive. 

Major Floods per Decade

The number of floods witnessed worldwide since 1950 has skyrocked!   

Melting of Arctic/Antarctic