The weather and the climate

When meeting people here in Russia, and by the way also in other places it seems like one of those things that people mix together is the weather and the climate.

We have the latest weeks had very hot weather. We actually in one months time now have had two rainy days during our trip. In the beginning between Kajaani and Rautavaara and one half day when we went from Sinchovo (Синцово) to Ostashkov (Осташков). That by the way was very, how to say, freshing!

When we went with bus from Moscow to Cheboksary we could many times see the fog from forestfires and yesterday when we visited the beach near GEZ (Gydro Electro Ztansia) downstreams from Cheboksary Sashas car we travelled in was stoped by the traffic police that warned about the dangers with forest fires.

On the television they are telling about forest fires and we can see that at the same time they have flooding in Austria they have forest fires in Greece.

Yes, and all this is weather! This is what happens today.

Climate is another thing. It is the development that goes over tens of years. The slow change. These weather-events we see occur here, with draught that propably will make the bread for Russians more expensive this year is weather. But of course, if these events continue they will be parts of the Climate Change, the threat against ALL people, ALL humankind on this planet Earth, our only home here in Cosmos/Universum.

The threat with the Climate Change (or Global Warming if you prefer to say so) is not anything that goes away by just closing our eyes. The amount of CO2 – carbon dioxide – двуокись углерода – in the athmospere is now about 390 ppm. That is 40 ppm more, than the safe level of 350 ppm that scientists talk about. That is also about 110 ppm more than the amount there should be before man started to but out lot of the oil, coal and gas from the earths inside into the athmospere.

When talking about these things with common people it is easy that they do not get the picture. The picture is, to say it very shortly, a danger to all humankind! You can check this scientific article from Susan Solomon and try to understand the slowness (inertia) of the system:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/01/28/0812721106.full.pdf+html

This article shows that if we let the amount of CO2 go up to 450 ppm, it will take 1.000 years (one thousand years) before it will go down to the safe level of 350 ppm.

There is one more point so to say to point out. If this happens, we are not shure that the climate of the planet will not start running wacko, that is, the different feedback mechanisms that there are might start to drive the climate into a state that will throw us out from the planet! Is that ok? Well, if you have children start looking at them and ask if it is ok…

One last thing. The IPCC predicted in their fourth assesment report in 2007 that with different scenarios we will have a global mean temperature in 2100 that is 1.1 – 6.4 degrees Celsius above the temperature before we started to put out CO2. Now we are very near 0.9 degrees already and many scientist starts to believe that we will cross 2.0 degrees border. NOTE – 2 degrees means killing (making them extinct!) about 30% of all species on this planet!

About 251 million years ago, in the end of the period in Earths history called Perm, there was a big massextinction. About 90% of the species on the planet dissapeared. The scientists have tryed to figure out how much the temperature increased at that time and found out it had increased about +6 degrees…

Well, words are in a way unnecessary. You might try to read the book by Mark Lynas ”Six Degrees”.  And maybe, maybe we can save the humankind. Our biketour is not the thing that will save it, there is much bigger changes that need to happen, a change of the whole system of our society. But maybe we can promote the saving of the humankind? Is that a good thing? What do you think?

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