CANCELLED - Seminar: Professor John Schellnhuber, "Restitution of the Atmosphere: Below Zero Emissions"

Past Event

03 December 2009, 1:00am


PLEASE NOTE: this seminar has been CANCELLED

Professor John Schellnhuber, CBE, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany.

Summary: Avoiding dangerous climate change means, in the shorter term, confining global warming to a maximum of 2°C. This requires that the worldwide sum of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions in the first half of the 21st century is limited to roughly one trillion tons. Equally challenging is to ensure that net carbon dioxide emissions during the second half of this century will approach practically zero on the global scale. While the decarbonization of the world’s energy systems is the most important transformation to be achieved in this context, ‘negative’ emissions – the extraction of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – might turn out to be an inconvenient necessity. Should we find appropriate ways to realize this, then we could go even further and restore the pre-industrial composition of our atmosphere: in the long run, this is the only reasonable insurance against environmental havoc.