Imagine a hangover, which lasts for hundreds of thousands of years…unthinkable, but this is the length of the fossil fuel ‘hangover’, which is predicted for the earth as a result of human activity according to leading scientists from Southampton University.
Toby Tyrrell, from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton believes that the impact of burning fossil fuels may be strong enough to stop the next ice age. Previous research has predicted that Carbon Dioxide has a lifetime of no more than 200 years before being absorbed by the oceans, but this is now being questioned. Dr Tyrrell predicts that as much as a 10th of the carbon dioxide now being emitted will linger in the air for 100,000 years to come…which is certainly a pretty long hangover to endure.
Climate change is one of the most pressing and difficult challenges facing us in the 21st century. The Stern Report released late last year highlighted the urgent need for action, and new research such as this is very helpful in highlighting the magnitude of the effects of human activity. The motorist should not get dispirted role in this agenda as it is possible to do a whole host of things to reduce a carbon footprint (i.e. reducing car use, car sharing, green car buying, using public transport, teleworking), many of which have been talked about in previous blogs. Solutions and action is what is needed, but it is always useful to reflect on the sheer magnitude of the issue highlighted by new research such as this.
(Source: The Telegraph 23rd August 2007)