Friday, February 22, 2013

Accidental Geoengineering

There are a lot of big numbers associated with climate change. The sheer scale of human activity is often lost in the numbers needed to describe it; millions, billions, and trillions.

Perhaps we need to contextualize our carbon dioxide production by comparing it to something else with similar bogglingly-big numbers: space.

To place human greenhouse-gase production into an astronomical context, I assembled a few choice comparisons into a convenient infographic. See it below the fold.

Punchline for the impatient: we produce a lot of CO2. One Halley's comet every decade, and one Martian atmosphere in 200-700 years (depending on assumptions about growth).

Click to see full-size version.

Alex H. Parker

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