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Putting a price on carbon — a North American perspectiveGreen Open Access

Author: Philip H. Nelson
Journal name: First Break
Issue: Vol 36, No 6, June 2018 pp. 57 - 61
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 1.03Mb )

In 1988 James Hansen summarized 30 years of climate research to a committee of the US Senate: (1) The Earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements, (2) The global warming is now sufficiently large that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect, and (3) In our computer climate simulations the greenhouse effect now is already large enough to begin to affect the probability of occurrence of extreme events such as summer heat waves. Hansen was referring to the addition to Earth’s ambient greenhouse effect produced by the combustion of hydrocarbons for energy production. The dilemma posed by the emission of man-made greenhouse gases is summarized by a global thermostat (Figure 1): the production of abundant hydrocarbon energy results in an unwanted warming of the planet.

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