Every 24 hours, we spew into the atmosphere another 110 tons of climate-warming pollution.
Fossil fuels account for 80 percent of the world's energy use.
At no point in the last 56 million years has carbon entered the atmosphere at a faster rate.
Atmospheric C02 just passed 415 parts per million, the highest monthly average ever recorded.
We know all of this from Laura Faulk, a Climate Reality Project Leader. The Climate Reality Project is a global network of activists committed to spreading awareness of the climate crisis and working for solutions. We need some climate reality in Darwin's Edge, and so we're delighted she's agreed to consult with us on key aspects of the story.
While not a climatologist, Laura has closely studied the science of climate change and she has a highly informed perspective on the climate we're likely to experience in Saratoga by the middle of the century.
For example, we want to imagine January 3rd, 2056 as accurately as possible. Michael Carmody, Rick Jacoby and Victor Cliff are enjoying lunch at Bacon's Lot Bistro, discussing the launch of ThinkPal, the most advanced neural auxiliary of its time. How likely are they to see snow as they gaze on that vast 100-acre field?
Let's be hopeful and assume the world wakes up and develops a new consciousness that recognizes the full gravity of the climate crisis. Let's say we take meaningful action and achieve a breakthrough or two in carbon sequestration technology. "Direct Air Capture appears to be the most promising approach," says Laura. "It's getting a considerable amount of investment capital."
"The most optimistic scenario right now is that the world will take action to limit warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit," says Laura.
So what will that big Pitney Meadows field look like in early January, 2056?
"The most recent National Climate Assessment published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program predicts the Northeast will experience less early winter snowfall, decreased snow depth, and a shorter snow season with fewer days of snow on the ground," she says. "Winters already have warmed three times faster than summers and more of our winter precipitation is falling as rain instead of snow. That trend will continue."
"So, it's possible that the Pitney Meadows field will be covered in snow in early January, 2056, but anyone viewing it would most likely appreciate the snow as a somewhat recent, and perhaps welcome, addition to the landscape."
Good to know. Thanks.