Wednesday November 13, 2019

Greenland Might be Ice-Free by Year 3000 if Greenhouse Gas Emissions Remain on Current Trajectory

Currently, the planet is moving toward the high estimates of greenhouse gas concentrations

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greenland
The team used data from a NASA airborne science campaign called 'Operation IceBridge'. Pixabay

Greenland could lose 4.5 per cent of its ice, contributing up to 13 inches of sea level rise, by the end of this century if worldwide greenhouse gas emissions remain on their current trajectory, warns a new study. The island might be ice-free by the year 3000, said the study published in the journal Science Advances.

“How Greenland will look in the future — in a couple of hundred years or in 1,000 years — whether there will be Greenland or at least a Greenland similar to today, it’s up to us,” said lead author Andy Aschwanden, Research Associate Professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute in the US.

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This research used new data on the landscape under the ice today to make breakthroughs in modelling the future. Pixabay

This research used new data on the landscape under the ice today to make breakthroughs in modelling the future. The findings show a wide range of scenarios for ice loss and sea level rise based on different projections for greenhouse gas concentrations and atmospheric conditions.

Currently, the planet is moving toward the high estimates of greenhouse gas concentrations. Greenland’s ice sheet is huge, spanning over 660,000 square miles. Today, the ice sheet covers 81 per cent of Greenland and contains eight of Earth’s fresh water bodies.

If greenhouse gas concentrations remain on the current path, the melting ice from Greenland alone could contribute as much as 24 feet to global sea level rise by the year 3000, which would put much of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans and other cities under water, said the study.

greenland
Currently, the planet is moving toward the high estimates of greenhouse gas concentrations. Pixabay

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The team used data from a NASA airborne science campaign called ‘Operation IceBridge’. Operation IceBridge uses aircraft equipped with a full suite of scientific instruments, including three types of radar that can measure the ice surface, the individual layers within the ice and penetrate to the bedrock to collect data about the land beneath the ice.

On average, Greenland’s ice sheet is 1.6 miles thick, but there is a lot of variation depending on where you measure. Between 1991 and 2015, Greenland’s ice sheet has added about 0.02 inches per year to sea level, but that could rapidly increase. (IANS)

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Emissions Trading Scheme in Surat Cuts Pollution, Hikes Profit

Companies can trade their allowances, enabling them to further reduce their emissions

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Pollution
With the festival of lights Diwali approaching, the need to confront Pollution becomes even more critical. Pixabay

The emissions trading scheme for trading greenhouse gas emissions allowances that has been adopted by Surat in Gujarat can reduce pollution 29 per cent while increasing profits for a majority of industrial plants, international researchers said on Friday.

Companies can trade their allowances, enabling them to further reduce their emissions.

With the festival of lights Diwali approaching, the need to confront pollution becomes even more critical.

In a move that is revolutionising India’s approach to pollution policies, Surat is the world’s first city that, on September 15, adopted an emissions trading scheme for particulate pollution.

An analysis by researchers from the University of Chicago and Yale University quantifies the significant potential the programme offers to reduce pollution while allowing continued economic growth.

“This first look at the programme finds that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s emissions trading scheme is projected to both foster economic growth by reducing industries’ compliance costs and improve people’s health by reducing particulate air pollution. It is bringing Indian environmental policy to the global frontier,” said Michael Greenstone, a co-author of the report.

Pollution
This first look at the programme in Surat finds that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s emissions trading scheme is projected to both foster economic growth by reducing industries. Pixabay

He’s the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

Greenstone and his co-authors find the programme can reduce particulate pollution by 29 per cent.

It can do so by setting a cap on the amount of pollution plants can emit equivalent to the amount they would have emitted if they had complied with current regulations, and allots permits to plants.

Plants that emit less pollution can sell their extra permits to plants that find it too costly to comply.

This “cap-and-trade” system delivers plants greater flexibility and will cost plants 36 per cent less than installing pollution abatement equipment.

Because a large majority of permits are given to industries for free at the start of the market, plants able to sell permits actually make money from the programme.

All total, the analysis finds the vast majority of industries will see their profits increase by greater than Rs 5.5 lakh per annum with the average increase in profits being Rs 8.6 lakh per year.

Pollution
“Cap-and-Trade” system in Surat delivers plants greater flexibility and will cost plants 36 per cent less than installing pollution abatement equipment. Pixabay

“The implementation of the pilot emissions trading scheme demonstrates remarkable foresight and imagination from Indian regulators and industry who are now using cutting-edge technology and economic techniques to balance the twin objectives of economic growth and air quality improvement,” said co-author Rohini Pande, the Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics and director of the Economic Growth Center at Yale University.

Greenstone and Pande, along with their colleagues Anant Sudarshan from the University of Chicago and Nicholas Ryan from Yale University, and others from The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, are evaluating the benefits and costs of the pilot.

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They will provide periodic analysis throughout its course as well as a full evaluate at its conclusion, in coordination with the Gujarat Pollution Control Board. (IANS)