by Lucy-Claire Saunders
NEW YORK, March 26 (Xinhua) -- He's known as the "Grandfather of Climate Science." And he says preventing atmospheric carbon dioxide from reaching 450 parts per million (ppm) by 2040 would take draconian measures no country is willing to pursue.
Wally Smith Broecker, a renown geoscientist at Columbia University, told Xinhua on Thursday that unless governments forced all local industries to work towards solving the carbon dioxide ( CO2) problem, just as the United States converted all production to military materials during World War II, the global carbon output will exceed 450 ppm.
"In the absence of that kind of action, it means CO2 levels are going to get a lot higher," he said. "And that's the track we're on now."
Currently, atmospheric CO2 levels are at 390 ppm although increasing at 2 ppm every year. Therefore in roughly 30 years, atmospheric CO2 levels will be at 450 ppm --- lest international efforts at substantial reduction are undertaken successfully.
But both developing and developed countries continue to emit more emissions than in previous years, signaling that drastic action is required before the world's carbon output levels off.
On Saturday, hundreds of millions of people will call for action on climate change by turning off their lights for one hour. In New York, iconic landmarks, such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the 30 Rockefeller Center will all go dark.