Sir Martin Rees on Climate Change

Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal of the United Kingdom, gave a public lecture at the beginning of this month titled "Surviving the Century" in which he offered predictions about the future of humanity and the world changing problems we face. Martin Rees is a world leading cosmologist who gave this lecture not because he is an expert in the field of environmental science, but because he is in a position where he can spread awareness about the critical time we are in. 

Image result for martin rees"The topic that he claimed needs the most immediate attention is that of climate change and global warming. He asserted that the population growth in the world has increased 4.2 billion in the last fifty years, which is directly proportional to the worlds fossil fuel use. He stated "If humanity’s collective impact on land use and climate pushes too hard, the resultant ecological shock could irreversibly impoverish our biosphere", which is also causing mass extinction. He followed this statement up by saying "We are destroying the book of life before we have read it".

Rees provided the keeling curve to display the global CO2 emission.

This Keeling curve displays the exponentially increasing anual CO2 use from 1990 to 2020.

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He also provided this graph, called the Representative Consentration Pathway, which displays the total greenhouse gas concentration on the planet. The different colors represent different scenarios for the future, where the red line on the graph represents the "business as usual" scenario, which is the predicted greenhous gas concentration if the world continues using fossil fuels and non renewable/reusable energy at the same rate that it does today. 

Rees says that this is the first time where a single species, us, has the planet's future in its hands. Rees's talk is available on youtube here, and I insist that everyone should watch it so that they can understand the true impact we are having on the Earth and what needs to be done to preserve our home and life on it. 


  1. Martin Rees is an interesting source to go to on climate change. As you say, this isn't really his field. But you then go on to present some important data in graphical form.


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