• Jason Qiu

BIG GLOBAL PICTURE ON CARBON DIOXIDE - THE PROBLEM (THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH)

Updated: Jul 18, 2021



The Uninhabitable Earth is a book by David Wallace-Wells about the consequences of Global Warming. The first chapter of the Uninhabitable Earth explains a common misconception to global warming. Initially, including myself, many people do not understand how the melting ice contributes to the climate crisis. This quote depicts the exact answer to the question.

"But Arctic permafrost contains 1.8 trillion tons of carbon, more than twice as much as is currently suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere. When it thaws and is released, that carbon may evaporate as methane, which is 34 times as powerful a greenhouse-gas warming blanket as carbon dioxide when judged on the timescale of a century; when judged on the timescale of two decades, it is 86 times as powerful. In other words, we have, trapped in Arctic permafrost, twice as much carbon as is currently wrecking the atmosphere of the planet, all of it scheduled to be released at a date that keeps getting moved up, partially in the form of a gas that multiplies its warming power 86 times over."

This quote explains how the carbon captured in the ice will be released into the air if it melts. With the growing temperatures, arctic permafrost is thawing out at an exponential rate, releasing these detrimental gases into the air. It is of the utmost importance to prevent carbon gasses from being released, we need to find ways to capture carbon as well as to reach net-zero in order to have the chance to preserve life on Earth a little longer.

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