De cómo destronar al rey carbón

MELBOURNE – A comienzos de este año, la concentración de dióxido de carbono en la atmósfera llegaba a 400 partes por millón (ppm). La última vez que hubo tanto CO2 en nuestra atmósfera fue hace tres millones de años, cuando los niveles del mar eran 24 metros más altos de lo que son hoy. Actualmente los niveles del mar están volviendo a subir. En septiembre del año pasado, el hielo del mar Ártico cubría la zona más pequeña en la historia. Todos excepto uno de los diez años más cálidos desde 1880, cuando se comenzaron a llevar registros globales, ocurrieron en el siglo XXI.

Algunos climatólogos creen que 400 ppm de CO2 en la atmósfera ya es suficiente para que traspasemos el punto de inflexión en el que corremos el riesgo de sufrir una catástrofe climática que convertirá a miles de millones de personas en refugiados. Dicen que necesitamos reducir esa cantidad de CO2 atmosférico a 350 ppm. Esa cifra está detrás del nombre adoptado por 350.org, un movimiento de base comunitaria integrado por voluntarios de 188 países que intenta resolver el problema del cambio climático.

Otros científicos especializados en el clima son más optimistas: sostienen que si permitimos que el CO2 atmosférico aumente a 450 ppm, un nivel asociado con un incremento de la temperatura de 2o Celsius, tenemos 66,6% de probabilidades de evitar una catástrofe. Eso implica que queda una chance de uno en tres de sufrir una catástrofe -una probabilidad peor que jugar a la ruleta rusa-. Y está pronosticado que superaremos los 450 ppm para 2038.

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