Decarbonization

Achieving “zero carbon emissions” (see footnote) without compromising safety and reliability, while keeping costs affordable, is not a trivial task. Countries that have succeeded or have come close are countries with a dominant portion of hydro power, for example Norway, Island, Costa Rica, Brazil, Canada. Also, countries like France and Sweden, with a mix of nuclear and hydro have achieved over ninety percent of zero emissions.



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Svante Arrhenius, the Swedish scientist, and Nobel Prize laureate was the first (1896) to develop a theory and calculate how increases of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in the atmosphere will increase the Earth’s surface temperature. He also concluded that anthropogenic (human caused) CO₂ emissions, even though much smaller than natural forces, are large enough to contribute to the warming. He calculated that a doubling of CO₂ concentration in the atmosphere would lead to a 5°C temperature rise. However, at that time increased temperatures were regarded more positive than negative, not least reducing the risk for a new ice age.



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