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Earth reacts, not bargain. Top 10 emitters’ impact: 80% of world's CO2, yearly 5.8 mil metric tons. Significant cut & action?


By WcP.Observer - Posted on 15 December 2009

Left: Burning fossil fuels primarily produces carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O). Other major emissions are nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen oxide (NO2), which together are called NOx, sulfur oxides (SO2), and soot. Center: a projection of the change in surface temperature at the end of the 21st century due to increases in man-made CO2. Red colors indicate a greater warming rate than the yellow and green colours.
The natural greenhouse effect makes the lower atmosphere warmer, and the upper atmosphere cooler, than it would otherwise be without the greenhouse effect.

Earth does not bargain but simply reacts to whatever is “dumped” into the air, the ocean, the land, the water… 10 countries — including the U.S., China and Russia — are responsible for 80 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, sending around 5.8 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Significant cut of greenhouse emission by major emitters seems the only chance which will bring significant impact to halt and reverse the accelerating rising temperatures, ice melting, sea rising, coastlines disappearing, fresh water running away from Himalayan and Greenland glaciers, to rescue Earth from catastrophic, irreversible consequences… It is time about how significant the cut, and action of implementation of committed significant cut.

(quote)

Climate Change Trends: Carbon Emissions Giants

Right now, 10 countries — including the U.S., China and Russia — are responsible for 80 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. The United States is the world's second largest emitter (China ranks no. 1), sending around 5.8 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere a year. That's the equivalent to a year's worth of greenhouse gas emissions from 1.1 billion average passenger vehicles.

Inset: New Delhi, India - as with most other metropolises, Delhi has a major water problem. Its main source of water, the river Yamuna is highly polluted with high levels of chemicals and pollutants. The high number of cars only adds to the present levels of pollution, and the dense population of the city has to cope with smog, impure water and health problems.

China to Close Steel Mills Failing Environment Limits

China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, set new environmental and power standards for steelmakers and threatened closures to curb pollution and overcapacity.
Plants should cap effluent discharge at 2 cubic meters and sulfur dioxide emission at 1.8 kilograms for every ton of steel made, according to draft regulations the industry ministry made available for public comment on its Web site. China, the world’s largest steelmaking nation, has rejected almost $29 billion of industrial projects this year and is planning measures to close plants to curb pollution, it said last month. A steel oversupply is overwhelming demand created by the government’s stimulus, and depressing profits for larger mills including Baoshan Iron & Steel Co.

Diagram to help explain the process of global warming and how greenhouse gases create the ‘greenhouse effect’

India is one of the world's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide - a greenhouse

India is one of the world's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide - a greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. The government recently pledged to cut emissions by 20 to 25 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.

Bottom right: Linfen ranked first in the list of world 10 most polluted places by the Blacksmith Institute. Other most polluted places include Tianying in China, others from Russia, Azerbaijan, India, Ukraine, Zambia, and Peru. Many of these places are mining areas. Linfen has a high incidence of skin diseases and lung cancer among its three million inhabitants. With high levels of sulfur dioxide in the air, the city pays the price of China’s high dependence on coal. China sources 70 percent of its energy requirements from coal.

Oil companies, Alberta's oilsands: well-managed necessity or ecological disaster?

Rightly or wrongly, Alberta's oilsands are creating a black, tarry bull's-eye on the back of Canada's negotiating team at the international summit on climate change in Copenhagen. Oil companies and the provincial government maintain that the development is needed and widely beneficial, and that its impacts are well-managed and wildly exaggerated. Environmental groups and many independent scientists suggest otherwise, with some going so far as to say the oil sands have turned Canada into a "corrupt petro-state."

This carbon cycle diagram shows the storage and annual exchange of carbon between the atmosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere in gigatons - or billions of tons - of Carbon (GtC). Burning fossil fuels by people adds about 5.5 GtC of carbon per year into the atmosphere.

Electricity, transportation biggest U.S. polluters

The United States is 2nd only to China in emissions of greenhouse gases, according to the new EPA report, with generation of electric power and vehicle emissions the leading sources. The report, released on Dec. 7, officially states for the first time that the U.S. government believes “greenhouse gases threaten public health and the environment,” and that “science overwhelmingly shows greenhouse gas concentrations at unprecedented levels due to human activity.” The full report, running 284 pages, notes that U.S. emissions from motor vehicles “are larger in magnitude than the total well-mixed greenhouse gas emissions from every other individual nation with the exception of China, Russia, and India, and are the second largest emitter within the United States behind the electricity generating sector.” Overall, the United States ranks second behind China in total greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from passenger cars, light- and heavy-duty trucks, buses, and motorcycles, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons, are responsible for 23 percent of total annual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report. Electricity generation contributes 34 percent. A third category listed as the “Industrial Sector” accounts for 19 percent of U.S. emissions.

glaciers melting due to global warming

3 Southern Co. Power Plants Top List of CO2 Emitters

3 power plants owned by Southern Co. top the list of U.S. coal-fired sources of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, according to rankings released today by an environmental group. The Atlanta-based utility's Plant Scherer in Georgia topped the list, emitting about 27 million tons of CO2 annually in 2007, according to the report (pdf) released today by Environment America. The James H. Miller Jr. Plant in Alabama was the No. 2 emitter, followed by Plant Bowen in Georgia. Overall, U.S. power plants released 2.56 billion tons of CO2 in 2007 -- about one-third of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the report says. Coal-fired power plants produce two-thirds of U.S. fossil fuel electricity and emit more than 80 percent of fossil fuel-related greenhouse gases, according to the study.

Los Angeles smog. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside region of Southern California remained the metropolitan area with the highest levels of ozone pollution, as it has in each of the past 10 reports. Inset: steel mill, Pittsburgh. Smoke stacks cause air pollution. Pittsburgh and Los Angles are the two most polluted cities in America.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of NASA, ClimatePrediction.com, TreeHugger, Headless Blogger, Wikipedia, Yoram Lehmann / Still Pictures, iStockphoto, The BS Report, top-10-list.org, After Gutenberg, trendsupdates.com, Breathing in Change, and forcechange.com, and HOME

Original Source: wbur.org, Bloomberg.com, VoANews, The Canadian Press, Drovers.com, and New York Times

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