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Reducing Greenhouse Effects: If we wait 10 years... Perhaps impossible.

"Imagine a gigantic asteroid, on a direct collision course with Earth. That is the equivalent of what we face now."

Such are the words of Dr. James E. Hansen, specialist of climatology, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, and mostly one of the major activists on raising broad awareness of global warming ever since his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in 1988.


{{LNK|Greenhouse gases|http://www.ecolife.com/define/greenhouse-gas.html}} such as C02 absorb heat, thus “acting like a blanket, warming our surface.” Yet energy policies keep focusing on finding more {{LNK|fossil fuels|http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/f/fossil_fuel.htm}} which use creates more CO2… Adding CO2 to the air is like “throwing another blanket on the bed” explains {{LNK|Dr Hansen|http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/}}. It reduces our heat radiation to space, and creates planetary energy imbalance. More energy ends up coming in than going out; more & more warming is stocked in the pipeline. Even though greenhouse gases occur naturally, today’s abnormally elevated levels are directly related to human activity.

One good way to measure heat is the Ocean, Dr Hansen says. {{LNK|Ocean is getting warmer|http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010406073554.htm}}, both in surface and in depth. As a scientific result, it releases more CO2. Heat spreads to the ice lands - both {{LNK|Greenland and Antarctica are already losing mass|http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20110308.html}}: several 100 cubic kilometers per year and the rate is accelerating. This makes the sea level rise, threatening the land, that is warming up too.

The emergency is that we need to “restore planetary energy balance”, as Dr. Hansen warns, humans are now adding the equivalent energy of 400,000 Hiroshima bombs A DAY to the earth’s climate. Deniers argue the sun is the only responsible for global warming, but the major energy imbalance has been measured {{LNK|during the deepest solar minimum|http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/energy-budget.html}} in the record… the effect of sun is definitely overwhelmed by greenhouse gases, & mostly by burning fossil fuels.

If nothing is done, we will inevitably "pass tipping points… and hundreds of {{LNK|New Orleans like devastations|http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050901/full/news050829-14.html}} may occur”. We can still solve this problem, he says. But the longer we wait, the most expensive and difficult it gets. “If we had started in 2005, it would have required emissions reduction of 3% a year. If we start next year… it will be 6%. If we wait 10 years, it will be 15%... perhaps impossible".

Let's hope governments will take emergency measures before serving us that it is too late and expensive...

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