A new study has managed to quantify the amount of carbon emissions which can melt 32 square feet of Arctic sea ice. Scientists then decided to correlate that number with specific human activities in order to help other people understand how our actions affect the planet as a whole.
The study, published in the journal Science during the previous week, reveals that every time someone on the planet produces a ton of carbon dioxide through their activities, it leads to the melting of three square meters of Arctic sea ice. In more specific details, this means that if someone drives a car in any place on Earth for 2,500 miles then the emissions that resulted from it contribute to the specified amount of ice being melted.
This is a harrowing perspective on things, one that scientists hope that it may increase the awareness of the danger we currently are facing. Recent estimates consider that by 2040 or even as early as 2030 depending on the global trend of carbon emissions, the Earth will no longer have any summer ice. This estimate is based on somewhat optimistic climate models, while other scientists think that even keeping temperatures from rising for more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, the target of the Paris Agreements, won’t be enough to save the Arctic sea ice.
The study’s authors, Julienne Stroeve from the Us National Snow and Ice Data Center and Dirk Notz, the leader of a Maxx Planck Research Group from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, have conducted their work using observational methods. They also initially included climate model into the study however they ruled out since they found out that the models allow a lower sensitivity than observations.
The most interesting part of their study is how they’ve managed to link the shrinking Arctic sea ice to specific human activities that lead to the precise amount of ice being melted. Their findings seem to be an imperative for all people to start thinking about their own carbon footprint, how it affects everyone in the world, how you should mitigate it.
The study has also been met with criticism from certain scientists from being rather simplistic in coming up with a crude equation.
Do you think about your own carbon footprint?
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