Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Carbon Bathtub

Posted by Kelly

I'm always excited to find new analogies that help explain climate change to more people - we all learn differently and with the complexity of a problem like global warming, it's helpful to have a few ways to explain what's happening with our atmosphere. Here's a great visual representation of the bathtub metaphor from National Geographic: "It’s simple, really: As long as we pour CO² into the atmosphere faster than nature drains it out, the planet warms. And that extra carbon takes a long time to drain out of the tub." In this metaphor, 350ppm is where the water level ought to be - a delicate balance between what we are putting into the atmosphere, and what the Earth can absorb each year. Right now, the tap is open way too full story.

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