Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Current Climate Trajectory is "Catastrophic"

The earth is warming faster than anticipated and we are rapidly heading for irreversible tipping points. If we continue with business as usual, by 2100 the earth will warm by at least 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). That is twice the internationally agreed upon 2 degree C upper threshold limit. We are on a perilous course and while governments acknowledge climate science they are still not doing enough to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.

According to new research out of Australia, increased levels of carbon dioxide (C02) in the atmosphere will reduce the number of clouds that form. Put simply the higher the level of C02 emissions the less water in the atmosphere and the less clouds. This will allow more solar radiation that will cause more warming.

The phenomenon is called atmospheric convective mixing and it will cause temperatures to rise much higher than previous climate-change models have predicted. This research predicts that global temperatures could rise 4 degrees Celsius or 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100, and 14.4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2200.

This convective mixing research is corroborated by Andrew Emory Dessler, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University and the author of Introduction to Modern Climate Change. His research indicates that if we continue with business as usual, GHG emission will keep rising and lead to a 21st century global average warming of 4.7 - 8.6°F3. This makes climate change a clear and present danger to all of human civilization.

The cloud study was conducted by lead researcher Steven Sherwood and his colleagues at the Climate Change Research Center in Australia's University of New South Wales. He told The Guardian that this level of climate change would be "catastrophic rather than simply dangerous. He also said we need to "urgently start to curb our [CO2] emissions."

The most recent research indicates that climate models which predict that we are heading down a perilous path are wrong. The fact is that the situation is even worse than they have predicted.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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