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Documentation > Greenhouse effect

Climate change (global warming) : a couple of answers to some elementary questions

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first online edition : september 2003

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Physical aspects of climate change : a general overview
What is the greenhouse effect?
Why is it said that the earth is warming up?
Has this warming up started already?
Is climate change something different from the hole in the ozone layer?
Are weather and climate the same thing?
 Is man the only cause of climate change?


Greenhouse gases : what are they?
What gases are greenhouse gases? How much do they contribute to the greenhouse effect?
Is it legitimate to say that carbon dioxide is a poison?
What are the aerosols? - what role do clouds play?

 Are we really sure that it's man that modified the atmosphere?


Trying to guess the future
What is a climate model? What are the models' first conclusions?
Should we trust climate models?
How many extra degrees can we get?
How do the present temperatures compare to the past ones?
Will temperatures and precipitations evolve the same way everywhere ?
What is an emission scenario? Is it important for the future?
Will climate change get rapidely to a halt if we quickly decrease the emissions?
A climate change, is it just a change of the average temperature ?


Do we know if there is a "threshold of danger"?
Will extreme phenomena of all kind increase in the future?
Will marine currents change?
Are the ecosystems at risk?
Will we turn the ocean into an acid lake?
Will we all be sick?
Will oceans submerge everything?
Will the "hole in the ozone layer" increase?
Will men be able to stay calm?
Won't certain regions of the world be spared by climate change?
Can the whole process get totally out of control?
Should we fear methane hydrates?
Can't we expect that "something" will slow down the process ?
Comparing tobacco and climate change....


The carbon cycle
Won't the carbon sinks absorb the extra CO2 ?
Can't we just grow forests to compensate for our CO2 emissions ?


Should we believe what scientists say about the future of our climate?
Who are "the scientists"?
Since when do "scientists know" for climate change?
What is the IPCC?
Is the press correctly accounting for the available scientific information ?
Should we believe anything just because it is written in the paper?


Greenhouse gases and us
How do greenhouse gas emissions presently evolve?
What is our present energy consumption like?
Do I emit greenhouse gases through my daily acts?
How much greenhouse gases in our plate?
How much greenhouse gases in our wastebin?
How much greenhouse gases does the author's family emit?


Acting collectively : when, how, and to achieve what?
Shouldn't we wait until we are totally sure of what's going on before we do anything?
Won't a soon to come fossil fuel shortage solve the problem for us ?
At what level must we stabilize atmospheric CO2?
What amount of CO2 should each of us be allowed to emit ?
Is leaving one's car in the garage sufficient to suppress the CO2 emissions in excess?
Won't "the technique" save us?
Can't we put the carbon dioxide in a big hole and just forget it?
What collective actions could be done?
What are the international negociations aiming at?
Are the Americans the kings of evil?
Who should reduce first?


Acting individually, at home or at work
Doing one's good deed regarding climate change : what is the impact of individual actions?
I run a business : can I "do something"?
 An example of emission calculation : how much carbon equivalent at Jancovici & co?


Is there an ideal world?
Are there "CO2 free" energies?
Could we live just like today with only renewable energies?
What can be expected from the electric cars?
What would an "energetically vertuous" world look like?


Global warming and economy
Does economic growth "create" greenhouse effect?
Does it make sense to give a price to climate change consequences ?
What price increases would follow a carbon tax?
What are the tradable permits?
What is Kaya's equation?


Climate change and France
How much extra greenhouse gases emissions if we build a new airport near Paris?
How much extra greenhouse gases emissions if we replace nuclear power plants by gas turbines?

Thanks and acknowledgments


Got a couple of spare euros? Part of the content of these pages can be found in two books (only in French, but don't tell me you are not fluent in Moliere's tongue...).

Roberval Prize 2002

I will gladly accept only half of the amount Hillary Clinton got for the publication of her memoirs if any editor is interested in an english version of these titles!

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