CO2 and other GHGs are accumulating in the atmosphere at levels never reached before. On February 2, 2007, scientists and government officials from 113 countries issued a report on climate change that blames humans for rising global emperatures.
Based on 4 years of research, on top of research over previous decades, these scientists and officials predict changes in temperature, rainfall and snow patterns and seal level over the next 100 years. Some of the main conclusions from their report are:
- global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (greenhouse gases) have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values determined from ice cores spanning many thousands of years
- global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land-use change, while those of methane and nitrous oxide are primarily due to agriculture.
- the understanding of human-influenced warming and cooling influences on climate has improved over the previous 4 years leading to very high confidence that the globally averaged net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming
- warming of the climate system is unequivocal (not debatable), as is evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.
- numerous long-term changes in climate at continental, regional, and ocean basin scales have been observed (recorded), including changes in Arctic temperatures and ice, widespread changes in precipitation amounts, ocean salinity, wind patterns and aspects of extreme weather including droughts, heavy precipitation, heat waves and the intensity of tropical cyclones.
While they had several other conclusions, they agreed that continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21st century that would very likely be larger than those observed during the 20th century.Personal Contributions to Emissions
What this all means that global warming and climate change are starting to transform our planet, affecting us, our children and grandchildren, living things and ecosystems, as well as the economy.
Indeed, each individual in North America contributes an average of about 15 or more tons of CO2 emissions every year as a result of driving and using energy for heating, lighting, air conditioning and other lifestyle activities. There are many actions that we can take to reduce our emissions (see our tips) for tips on reducing emissions from your driving and how you live.Offsetting Emissions with VERs
We know that most people cannot live completely emissions neutral. Therefore, we help our customers and partners to reduce their overall contribution of emissions by purchasing VERs from renewable energy companies and other sustainable resource management projects to offset their emissions and become climate neutral. In our view, this is a transition phase, and we are hopeful that eventually humans will have the resources and technology to live climate neutral, thus putting us out of business!