It seems that no matter how long humans live there is always going to be a discrepancy between “north and south.” This time, however, researchers from the University of Bath are calling for the industrialized “north” of our planet to help out the more populous “south” in an effort to curb an increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the next century.
Professor Geoffrey Hammond and PhD student Gemma Cranston, from the University of Bath’s Department of Mechanical Engineering set out to estimate the relative contribution of population size and economic growth to the planets total carbon dioxide emissions up until the year 2100 for both the north and south of the planet.
What they found was that the main cause for the rise in average global temperatures that has been seen over the past few decades is the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels for power and transport.
The research, published in the latest edition of the journal International Journal of Global Warming, shows that over the 20th century the leading cause behind increased greenhouse gas emissions was the economic growth in industrialized countries.
Subsequently, it is believed that the new emerging economics like China and India will become the dominant drivers of climate change over the second half of the 21st century if new technology is not provided for these countries.
“We looked at the carbon and environmental footprints of nations around the world to see whether climate change is largely due to economic wealth or population density,” explained Professor Geoff Hammond, Director of the University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment (I-SEE).
“We found that the industrialised ‘North’ of the globe has so far been mostly responsible for the rise in carbon emissions. Since carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for around 100 years, it is the view of many that it is these nations that should significantly curb their emissions.”
“Part of this should involve transferring low carbon technologies to less developed nations in the ‘South’, and helping these countries to adapt to climate change.”
“Nations like Brazil, China and India have made it clear that they expect the industrialised countries to take the main responsibility for global warming. They are not prepared to sacrifice the wellbeing of their citizens to mitigate emissions that they regard as being caused by the historic development of the North.”