Headline, December 31 2022/ ''' '' HERE CLIMATE HELLS '' ''' : SURVEILLANCE



IT STARTS TO SEEM LESS INTUITIVE - that we should build our understanding of emissions and decarbonization around the unit of the nation. For most of the decades in which laypeople have been worrying about climate -

Countries have been the conventional framework for tabulating emissions because they were the basic building block of climate policy - and because our best hopes for cutting emissions seemed to rest on things like national carbon taxes and renewable subsidies, we tracked progress country by country as well.

But the atmosphere doesn't recognize borders, and the Trace satellites show outsize damage being done by, for example an oil and gas field in Algeria producing more than 73 million tons of emissions, an iron and steel factory in China producing 22 million tons and a coal-powered plant in West Virginia producing 10 million tons.

THE GLOBAL CARBON SURVEILLANCE IS COMING. The conventional picture of climate change and what is causing it is about to change. For a while, we've used ballpark estimates for emissions from countries, industries and the planet as a whole.

The point of the Climate Trace project is to bring it down to the level of individual polluting facilities : to make it possible to track climate-damaging carbon released from more than 72,000 ''steel and cement factories, power plants, oil and gas fields, cargo ships, cattle feedlots,'' as The Times put it - to name just a handful of the resources.

The Climate Trace project doesn't turn that carbon from invisible to red or green, and it is only one of many recent efforts to better assess the real time state of emissions rather than imprecise approximations and modeling.

But it marks another step toward what is beginning to seem like the inevitable development of a sort of global carbon surveillance state, one which, even independent of any global enforcement mechanism, promises to change some aspects of the conventional picture of climate change and what is causing it.

The basics, of course, remain the same : The world's carbon emissions are produced primarily from the burning of fossil fuel, and the power, transportation and industrial sectors dominate.

But examining the flow of pollution in a more granular and detailed way does change some features of the carbon landscape in three key ways.

To begin with, methane begins to look much more significant. Typically, when we talk about emissions we talk about carbon dioxide, of which about 40 gigatons a year are released globally.

But the true total picture of planet warming emissions, calculated using a standard called carbon dioxide equivalent, is about 50 gigatons each year, with most of the additional 10 gigatons coming from methane, another greenhouse gas, produced both from industrial activity like fracking and from agriculture, land-use changes and melting permafrost.

In recent years there's been a flurry of research documenting the sources of methane, which had been somewhat secret and elusive before. The studies almost invariably found that much more of it was being released than was previously acknowledged. 

So, removing borders from our model of carbon emissions doesn't just draw attention to polluting sites and industries, as the Trace satellites data suggests, it also raises the question of who within these countries is responsible - which individuals have the largest carbon footprints.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Climate Change and Surveillance, continues. The World Students Society thanks author David Wallace-Wells.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Scientists, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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