Structure and carbon

February 27, 2013
Publication: Structural Engineer p 24-25
Author(s): Mark Webster Meryman, Helena Slivers, Adam

Sustainable Design column: Climate change exists. Hurricane Sandy, the unprecedented summer heat waves and droughts, and the alarming seasonal reduction of the extent and thickness of polar ice are harbingers of what's ahead. The impacts of climate change are here, and if we don't act expeditiously, the effects we've already endured will be significantly more severe. We must adapt to the changes ahead to protect infrastructure and populated areas, but adaptation without aggressive climate mitigation would be extremely costly, both financially and culturally. Serious mitigation means reducing carbon dioxide emissions to bring the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere back down to the 1990 level of 350 parts per million.