NY Mag writer David Wallace-Wells talks about a climate genocide. He implies that if we do not stop climate change at 1.5 degrees of warming then the climate change will cause 150 million more deaths than at 2 degrees of warming and we are heading to 4 degrees of warming.
Business as usual means there will be about 6-10 million air pollution deaths every year on average from 2018-2100. The unfocused and costly climate change solution would only save about 20% of those deaths.
The total of deaths is all from particulate air pollution. The deaths have already been happening and are happening today. Particulate (2.5 micron and 10 micron) air pollution comes from the incomplete burning of wood, plants and fossil fuels. The pollution is both indoor and outdoor.
David also downplays geoengineering and negative emissions technology. However, one the paper he cites indicates that sustained ocean iron fertilization CO2 sink of 1.0–3.7 GtCO2/year (0.3–1 GtC/year) and that the total ocean sequestration capacity until the end of the century is 85–315 GtCO2, assuming continuous iron fertilization of the entire iron-limited Southern Ocean, Equatorial Pacific and subpolar North Pacific. If the iron is fully used in increased plankton growth, cost estimates can be quite low (
Particulates currently produce 80% of the temperature increase compared to CO2.
Particulates leave the atmosphere in 2 weeks. So if particulate production were reduced by 50%, then in two weeks the impact would start to occur.
Particulates are black and absorb more heat. They darken ice and increase ice melting. White ice would reflect more sunlight.
No slash and burn agriculture go to slash and char. Slash and burn is currently causing horrible pollution in Dehli, India.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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