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If we lose even half of the continental ice in Greenland and West Antarctica it will likely take several thousand years to return the earth to a 1900 level of atmospheric carbon. And it might be that we will be unable to stop the ongoing melting in Greenland and West Antarctica short of total collapse. That would mean the loss of all coastal cities in the world. In the latest papers I have seen in Science News and elsewhere many of the leading climate scientists acknowledge that there are uncertainties in the validity of existing worst case estimates. Some have expressed concerns that the ongoing melting in West Antarctica may be impossible to stop. I expect similar conclusions about much of the Greenland ice sheet soon.
As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
This book describes a variety of soil treatments which can accelerate the removal of carbon from the atmosphere so that atmospheric carbon levels can reach 270 ppm in a few decades rather than centuries. This is a scientific text with real data from real scientists.
In my years of following the discussions of climate change at Harvard, MIT, and other places around Cambridge, MA, I very, very rarely hear anyone mention this side of the equation. It is almost always about emissions and energy sources. The natural carbon sinks which we can amplify and enlarge almost never come up in those venues. These days, I bring it up myself and, sometimes, get dirty looks because of it.
Here are my notes from a talk by the former CEO of BP at Harvard in March:
Solar IS Civil Defense
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