25 November 2019   Leave a comment

The World Meteorological Organization has released a report that indicates that carbon dioxide emissions continue to increase globally. According to the report:

“The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that globally averaged concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017.

“The increase in CO2 from 2017 to 2018 was very close to that observed from 2016 to 2017 and just above the average over the last decade. Global levels of CO2 crossed the symbolic and significant 400 parts per million benchmark in 2015.

“COremains in the atmosphere for centuries and in the oceans for even longer.”

The report goes on to indicate that the rate of growth of carbon dioxide continues to accelerate:

“The increase in COfrom 2017 to 2018 was above the average growth rate over the last decade. The growth rate of CO2 averaged over three consecutive decades (1985–1995, 1995–2005 and 2005–2015) increased from 1.42 ppm/yr to 1.86 ppm/yr and to 2.06 ppm/yr with the highest annual growth rates observed during El Niño events.

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Annual Greenhouse Gas Index  shows that from 1990 to 2018 radiative forcing by long-lived greenhouse gases (LLGHGs) increased by 43%, with CO2 accounting for about 80% of this increase.”

It does not appear as if the world is making any progress at all in curbing greenhouse gas emissions despite the overwhelming evidence that the pattern will be very disruptive. The last time the planet had such elevated levels “the temperature was 2-3 [degrees Celsius] warmer, sea level was 10-20 meters higher than now.”

We tend to think about globalization as a recent phenomenon, but, in reality, it is a process that has been going on ever since some of our ancestors left the African continent. Modern globalization just occurs at a much faster rate. But there are some distinctive features of early globalization, which can be highlighted by the words we use to identify the beverage we know in the West as “tea”.

“With a few minor exceptions, there are really only two ways to say “tea” in the world. One is like the English term— in Spanish and tee in Afrikaans are two examples. The other is some variation of cha, like chay in Hindi.

“Both versions come from China. How they spread around the world offers a clear picture of how globalization worked before ‘globalization’ was a term anybody used. The words that sound like ‘cha’ spread across land, along the Silk Road. The ‘tea’-like phrasings spread over water, by Dutch traders bringing the novel leaves back to Europe.”

Posted November 25, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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