Carbon emissions to impact climate beyond the day after tomorrow

Aug 05, 2013

Future warming from fossil fuel burning could be more intense and longer-lasting than previously thought. This prediction emerges from a new study by Richard Zeebe at the University of Hawai'i who includes insights from episodes of climate change in the geologic past to inform projections of man-made future climate change. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Humans keep adding large amounts of to the atmosphere, among them carbon dioxide (CO2), the most important man-made . Over the past 250 years, human activities such as fossil fuel burning have raised the atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than 40% over its preindustrial level of 280 ppm (parts per million). In May 2013, the CO2 concentration in Earth's atmosphere surpassed a milestone of 400 ppm for the first time in human history, a level that many scientists consider dangerous territory in terms of its impact on Earth's climate.

A calamity as depicted in the movie 'The Day After Tomorrow,' though, is very unlikely to be the result of climate change. The globe is likely to become warmer in the near future, and probably a lot warmer in the distant future. Now Zeebe, Professor of Oceanography in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai'i at M?noa, has examined mankind's long-term legacy of fossil fuel burning.

The study suggests that amplified and prolonged warming due to unabated fossil fuel burning raises the probability that large ice sheets such as the Greenland ice sheet will melt, leading to significant sea level rise.

"When we talk about climate sensitivity, we're referring to how much the planet's rises for a given amount of CO2 in the atmosphere," Zeebe said. A standard value for present-day climate sensitivity is about 3°C per doubling of atmospheric CO2. But according to Zeebe, climate sensitivity could change over time. Zeebe uses past climate episodes as analogs for the future, which suggest that so-called slow climate 'feedbacks' can boost climate sensitivity and amplify warming.

An example of a feedback is the familiar audio feedback experienced when a microphone interacts with a speaker. If the audio output from the speaker is received again by the microphone, the initial audio signal is strongly amplified in a positive feedback loop.

A variety of feedbacks also operate in Earth's climate system. For example, a positive feedback loop exists between temperature, snow cover, and absorption of sunlight. When snow melts in response to warming, more sunlight can be absorbed at Earth's surface because most surfaces have a lower reflectivity than snow. In turn, the additional absorption of sunlight leads to further warming, which leads to more snow melt, and so forth.

Previous studies have usually only included fast climate feedbacks (snow cover, clouds, etc.). Using information from pre-historic climate archives, Zeebe calculated how slow climate feedbacks (land ice, vegetation, etc.) and climate sensitivity may evolve over time. Armed with these tools, Zeebe was able to make new predictions about long-term future climate change.

"The calculations showed that man-made could be more severe and take even longer than we thought before" says Zeebe. Although we will not see immediate effects by tomorrow—some of the slow processes will only respond over centuries to millennia—the consequences for long-term ice melt and could be substantial. "Politicians may think in four-year terms but we as scientists can and should think in much longer terms. We need to put the impact that humans have on this planet into a historic and geologic context."

"By continuing to put these huge amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we're gambling with and the outcome is still uncertain," Zeebe said. "The legacy of our fossil fuel burning today is a hangover that could last for tens of thousands of years, if not hundreds of thousands of years to come."

Explore further: Strong quake hits east Indonesia; no tsunami threat

More information: www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1222843110

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NikFromNYC
1.8 / 5 (25) Aug 05, 2013
The West must immediately conquer China and India to stop expanding fossil fuel use there, or else shut down all our own use to "lead by example," even though low emissions fracking has already help cut US emissions by 20% despite a de facto ban on low emissions nuclear energy by liberals.

If you dare criticize highly speculative supercomputer models such as the type used to justify policy influence by pump and dump green energy speculators, you are publicly called a denier of the simple greenhouse effect, whereas this article reveals a smoking gun embarrassment: the massive 3X water vapor feedback assumptions required to justify lavish UN advisorships are now falsified so like in any young doomsday cult, suddenly the goalposts are moving far into the future.

Oh, but "pay us now!"

Their theory is wrong but...but..."we aren't Enron," "no no, their carbon trading schemes weren't the exact same ones as ours!"

"We hug trees!"

http://www.google...0trading
rug
2.7 / 5 (19) Aug 05, 2013
I would still like someone, anyone, to tell me why it's a good idea to pump something I can't breath into the air.

CO2 I can't breath it. So I try to put as little in the air a possible. Is that really so complicated?
VendicarE
3.2 / 5 (14) Aug 05, 2013
The West must immediately conquer China and India to stop expanding fossil fuel use there," - NikkieTard

Why? They use 1/2 and 1/4 th of the energy pe capita than Americans do.

What makes you think that Americans belong to a privileged class, Tardieboy?

NikkieTard doesn't seem capable of rational thought.
NikFromNYC
2 / 5 (24) Aug 05, 2013
I would still like someone, anyone, to tell me why it's a good idea to pump something I can't breath into the air.

You exhale plant food. You piss and crap it out, too.
kevin_buckeye_3
2.6 / 5 (18) Aug 05, 2013
I would still like someone, anyone, to tell me why it's a good idea to pump something I can't breath into the air.

You exhale plant food. You piss and crap it out, too.


You dumb right-wingers.

We have cut down over 50% of the planet's forests. Those ecosystems are needed as a whole to filter out any pollution.
VendicarE
3.5 / 5 (13) Aug 05, 2013
"I would still like someone, anyone, to tell me why it's a good idea to pump something I can't breath into the air." - Rug

Because breathing pure oxygen is toxic at STP, and plants need it to grow and ultimately put food in your belly.

Now CO2 is a trace gas in the atmosphere, and increasing it by even an order of magnitude won't significantly alter your ability to breathe. However even though it is a trace gas, it does alter the infrared color of the atmosphere, making it darker and reflecting more heat from the surface of the earth back to the surface of the earth, thereby increasing the temperature of the lower atmosphere.

VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (16) Aug 05, 2013
"You piss and crap it out, too." - NikkieTard

NikkieTard has a valid point. People should no more accept excess CO2 in their air because it is plant food than they would accept increases in shit in their water, because it is plant food.

Yet Denialists are constantly seen making just such a moronic and disingenuous argument.
MR166
1.4 / 5 (18) Aug 05, 2013
"The sky is falling"

C. Little MA, MS, MBA, PHD
NikFromNYC
1.8 / 5 (25) Aug 05, 2013
VendicarE equates with rational thought the use of rapidly deflating junk science to support social justice policy, ignoring how artificial Carter era energy rationing in the West will severely retard the economic boom required to fund foreign aid to developing countries. Greens don't actually *want* any energy advances at all. The LA Times featured cold fusion in '89 before its debunking. Greens were aghast!

"It's like giving a machine gun to an idiot child." – Paul Ehrlich
"Clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland." – Paul Ciotti
"It gives some people the false hope that there are no limits to growth and no environmental price to be paid by having unlimited sources of energy." – Jeremy Rifkin
"Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that." – Laura Nader
NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (22) Aug 05, 2013
"Stupid Right Wing Denialist" James Hansen's last paper as a NASA scientist from 2012:

"We suggest that the surge of fossil fuel use, mainly coal, since 2000 is a basic cause of the large increase of carbon uptake by the combined terrestrial and ocean carbon sinks. One mechanism by which fossil fuel emissions increase carbon uptake is by fertilizing the biosphere via provision of nutrients essential for tissue building, especially nitrogen, which plays a critical role in controlling net primary productivity and is limited in many ecosystems (Gruber and Galloway 2008). Modeling (e.g., Thornton et al 2009) and field studies (Magnani et al 2007) confirm a major role of nitrogen deposition, working in concert with CO2 fertilization, in causing a large increase in net primary productivity of temperate and boreal forests."
NikFromNYC
2.1 / 5 (23) Aug 05, 2013
"A new study published today in "Nature" by authors from the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre and the Goethe University Frankfurt suggests that large parts of Africa's savannas may well be forests by 2100. The study suggests that fertilization by atmospheric carbon dioxide is forcing increases in tree cover throughout Africa. A switch from savanna to forest occurs once a critical threshold of CO2 concentration is exceeded, yet each site has its own critical threshold. The implication is that each savanna will switch at different points in time, thereby reducing the risk that a synchronous shock to the earth system will emanate from savannas."

http://www.scienc...0643.htm
MR166
1.9 / 5 (23) Aug 05, 2013
Oh that can't be correct, just a few years ago Africa was supposed to turn into a vast desert an the inhabitants were supposed to receive vast amounts of $$$$$ in reparations for the harm that the evil Western nations have done to them. Well, perhaps the payments were not to be made to the individual citizens but surly they were to be made to the governments who would do everything in their power to make sure that it reached the proper people.
Kiwini
1.7 / 5 (27) Aug 05, 2013
Courtesy of VendicarE-
Because breathing pure oxygen is toxic at STP, and plants need it to grow and ultimately put food in your belly.


Once again, your 4th grade education has let you down... 100% oxygen at atmospheric pressure (STP) is not a problem for most people, and as a matter of fact (but apparently unknown to you), a lot of diving and flying operations are preceded by a purge of nitrogen from the diver/pilot's body, accomplished by breathing pure O2 while at atmospheric pressure.

Secondly, plant photosynthesis involves consumption of CO2, and they exhale O2, which is the opposite of what your rant decrees.

You never fail to disappoint, do you?.

Howhot
3.2 / 5 (11) Aug 05, 2013
Kevin the buckeye says:

You dumb right-wingers.

We have cut down over 50% of the planet's forests. Those ecosystems are needed as a whole to filter out any pollution.


Yep. That is the truth. You have to wonder where these people went to camp. Ignorance of the eco-system seems to be par for the course with them.
Howhot
3.3 / 5 (12) Aug 05, 2013
Kiwini
Secondly, plant photosynthesis involves consumption of CO2, and they exhale O2, which is the opposite of what your rant decrees.
So you have a grade-school education. I'm glad you passed 5th grade.

But the issue isn't whether plants like CO2, they do. The issue is that CO2 is a green house gas, traps heat, and in excessive amounts heats up the planet like a ten foil covered turkey with the stove turned on hot. Eventually, the turkey cooks.
VendicarE
2.8 / 5 (11) Aug 05, 2013
"The sky is falling" - Mr166

Hardly. But the world as you know it is ending, and you will tell any lie in order to comfort yourself into believing that it can't be happening.

Filth.
Gmr
3.1 / 5 (16) Aug 05, 2013
Wow, you guys got out of the gate quick on this one - no slow buildup, straight to hysterics and name-calling.

The idea that what we're doing can't be easily reversed is conjecture, currently. We won't know until we try. And we haven't tried yet. The only example we have of curbing, globally, a pollutant is CFC's, and the recovery rate from that is becoming apparent after a number of decades. Acid rain was another thing tackled, and things bounced back eventually.

Best example was the massive power outage on the east coast, when amazingly clear skies dominated for a number of days eerily the same as the number of days the coal-burning power plants were offline.

This is one more thread, but it's not definitive, because we haven't tried. Some things might revert quickly, others take years or decades in remediation. But we don't have a test case - and opposition to any research keeps us from having a test case.
VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (10) Aug 05, 2013
"Central Nervous System Oxygen Toxicity (CNS) is the biggest problem with pure oxygen diving." - Alfred A Bove, Bove and Davis Diving Medicine

" In humans breathing 100 percent oxygen at normal pressure, here's what happens:
Fluid accumulates in the lungs.
Gas flow across the alveoli slows down, meaning that the person has to breathe more to get enough oxygen.
Chest pains occur during deep breathing.
The total volume of exchangeable air in the lung decreases by 17 percent.
Mucus plugs local areas of collapsed alveoli -- a condition called atelectasis. The oxygen trapped in the plugged alveoli gets absorbed into the blood, no gas is left to keep the plugged alveoli inflated, and they collapse. Mucus plugs are normal, but they are cleared by coughing. If alveoli become plugged while breathing air, the nitrogen trapped in the alveoli keeps them inflated." -
http://science.ho...4931.htm

VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (11) Aug 05, 2013
"The alveolar epithelial and alveolar capillary endothelial cells are vulnerable targets for O2-free-radical-induced injury caused by hyperoxia. In acute lung injury (ALI) caused by hyperoxia, hyperpermeability of the pulmonary microvasculature causes flooding of the alveolus with plasma extravasations leading to pulmonary edema and abnormalities in the coagulation and fibrinolysis pathways promoting fibrin deposition [5, 6]. Type II alveolar epithelial cells are injured by O2 free radicals leading to impairment of surfactant production [7]. Thus, the maximum positive biological benefit for this life essential but toxic molecule exists along a dose-response, deficiency–toxicity continuum." - Consequences of Hyperoxia and the Toxicity of Oxygen in the Lung

http://www.hindaw.../260482/

As I said earlier - and which was denied by a plebe - Breathing pure oxygen at STP is toxic,

Next....
VendicarE
3 / 5 (10) Aug 06, 2013
I am unaware of any planet on which this was reality.

"Oh that can't be correct, just a few years ago Africa was supposed to turn into a vast desert an the inhabitants were supposed to receive vast amounts of $$$$$ in reparations" - Mr166

Except Planet ConservaDopia of course.

Howhot
2.8 / 5 (10) Aug 06, 2013
@Gmr says
The idea that what we're doing can't be easily reversed is conjecture
Actually, no, you are wrong. It's physics and physics models that predict this. It's validated by field studies and geology.

Gmr
3 / 5 (13) Aug 06, 2013
@Gmr says
The idea that what we're doing can't be easily reversed is conjecture
Actually, no, you are wrong. It's physics and physics models that predict this. It's validated by field studies and geology.


I'm sorry, I was aware a lot of research had gone into determining the nature and possible future projected duration of the effect, but I was not aware there were definitive studies done detailing how much carbon sequestration would have to ensue at what rate to reverse the current trend. This article itself argues for hundreds to thousands of years if currently reversed, where other articles have said otherwise.

Given that there were a number of surprises in CFC (the long duration of chlorine since it essentially recycles after each reaction) and in acid rain remediation, I wouldn't be so bold as to say it was a foregone conclusion.
Egleton
2.5 / 5 (11) Aug 06, 2013
The denialists are playing wack-a-mole.
rug
3 / 5 (14) Aug 06, 2013
You exhale plant food. You piss and crap it out, too.


Sure, but as you say the plants take care of that. Still doesn't make sense to put extra CO2 into the air. Plants can only suck up so much. As was stated we have cut down most of the forest around the world so there are even less plants to suck up the extra CO2. It may take a lot longer for the extra CO2 to make it harder to breath then what it will take the planet/solar system to kill us off but I would much rather be safe then sorry when it comes to planet wide extinction of the human race.

Until you can come up with a valid logical answer to my simple question. I will assume you have no creditably or no brains. Which ever the case may be.
Howhot
3.4 / 5 (9) Aug 07, 2013
@Gmr says
The idea that what we're doing can't be easily reversed is conjecture
Actually, no, you are wrong. It's physics and physics models that predict this. It's validated by field studies and geology.


I'm sorry, I was aware a lot of research had gone into determining the nature and possible future projected duration of the effect, but I was not aware there were definitive studies done detailing how much carbon sequestration would have to ensue at what rate to reverse the current trend. This article itself argues for hundreds to thousands of years if currently reversed, where other articles have said otherwise.

Given that there were a number of surprises in CFC (the long duration of chlorine since it essentially recycles after each reaction) and in acid rain remediation, I wouldn't be so bold as to say it was a foregone conclusion.

My fault @gmr for replying before reading. CO2 has a pretty long atmospheric lifetime.
That's my only point.
MR166
1.7 / 5 (18) Aug 07, 2013
No comment needed!!!!!

http://notrickszo...century/
rug
2.8 / 5 (13) Aug 07, 2013
No comment needed!!!!!

http://notrickszo...century/


Oh that's funny. Here is a quote from your link...the title in matter of fact.
"NOAA Confirms Model-Defying Global Temperature Stagnation…2012 Was Among Coolest In 21st Century"

Here is a quote from NOAA they link to
"NOAA: 2012 was one of the 10 warmest years on record globally"

I guess you didn't look at the data your source was linking to. All the NOAA data shown on NOAA site is showing an increase in temperature.

No Comment needed? Well if you want to have false claims then your are 100% correct.
MR166
1.5 / 5 (16) Aug 07, 2013
Rug your are one of people that say "Show Me the Data". Are you tring to say that the Hadcrut data is unreliable?

You see that is one of the problems in trying to prove a false trend, eventually the numbers catch up with you. I think that Bernie Madoff ran into the exact same problem!
rug
2.8 / 5 (13) Aug 07, 2013
What I'm saying is that link you provided was complete junk. They stated things that were completely backwards from the sites they were linking to. Trying to say NOAA proved something that they proved the opposite on. I will not even think about believing a site that lies about what it's sources found. If you bother to look at the data they are claiming it show no change you will see a temperature increase trend.

Looks to me the data is showing exactly what you don't want it to show. You are in denial because you know it's the end of life. It's ok, I understand. It's perfectly natural to go through denial before accepting the facts. Most people do this when they loose someone or something. We are loosing the whole planet. Denial is a normal part of the grieving process. Let me know when your done with it so you can join the rest of us to stop it and/or survive it.
rug
3 / 5 (12) Aug 07, 2013
In fact it looks like hadcut (not the site you linked to) is rather complete. However if you look at more then just the last few years you will see there is way more of upward trend.

According to the interactive graph hadcut setup so you could select your own time frames from about 1850 to 2013 there looks to be a general temperature increase of about .6

Now, where was that data showing a cooling trend or even a static trend? Oh yeah, there isn't one.
Modernmystic
1.3 / 5 (13) Aug 07, 2013
@Gmr says
The idea that what we're doing can't be easily reversed is conjecture
Actually, no, you are wrong. It's physics and physics models that predict this. It's validated by field studies and geology.


With mature nano technology physics tells us we could undo all the environmental damage we've done, and we can do it in short order.

These are TECHNOLOGICAL problems, not policy problems. They will be solved with technology, NOT policy. In fact most of the policies proposed to fight global warming (which is VERY REAL) will in fact hurt and postpone solutions which will actually work being implemented....
MR166
1.5 / 5 (17) Aug 07, 2013
"According to the interactive graph hadcut setup so you could select your own time frames from about 1850 to 2013 there looks to be a general temperature increase of about .6"

Why limit yourself to a mere 163 years. Why don't we start the chart 18K years ago when glaciers covered the Northern Hemisphere. I'll tell you why not, there is no coincident man made CO2 emissions to support the "Hockey stick".
VendicarE
3.7 / 5 (9) Aug 07, 2013
There is Stupid, and then there is Denialist Stupid.

"But if 2012 is only the 8th or 9th warmest and we are told again and again that almost all the warmest years occurred since 2000, then it can only mean that 2012 was one of the coolest so far this century." - Mr166's reference

Idiocy in so many ways, it is difficult to enumerate.
MR166
1.5 / 5 (15) Aug 07, 2013
You should keep up to date on the press releases from the Ministry of Truth VD. As I remember, it was a little warm in the US last year and there were a whole rash of articles linking this to global warming.
rug
3 / 5 (12) Aug 08, 2013
Why limit yourself to a mere 163 years. Why don't we start the chart 18K years ago when glaciers covered the Northern Hemisphere. I'll tell you why not, there is no coincident man made CO2 emissions to support the "Hockey stick".


You are wrong, the reason I started as 1850 is because that is all the data that chart had. There was no data showing before 1850. You look as any chart for global temperature that covers even greater time spans you will still see we are warming up.

BTW, that comment just proves you did not look at the data. If you had in any way shape or form you would have seen there was no data before 1850.

Now that you have been proved wrong again how about you get off your high horse and see what else you have missed. Oh yeah, sorry I forgot, you don't care what it is you missed and simple want to go on believing the world is flat and the Earth is the center of the universe.
MR166
1.5 / 5 (15) Aug 08, 2013
Right Rug, there is no reliable data before the beginning of that chart. Just like the only data on polar ice started in 1979 with the advent of satellites.
rug
3 / 5 (12) Aug 08, 2013
There is tons of data before 1850 and 1979. It's in the ice cores they pull out of the glaciers all over the world. It just that single site didn't have any data for a previous time.

You know, if you spent as much time looking at the data as you do nit picking over things I post you would see that you have been proven wrong many times over. The best you can do at the moment is try and turn my words around so you don't seem so stupid. Well, I have just one word for you.

FAIL

Now, if you don't mind, I have much better things to do then making you look any dumber.
PPihkala
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 10, 2013
For rationale people the only conclusion from this and other research is that we must find non-CO2 polluting energy sources and shut down the current CO2 ones. Then we need to actively bring the atmospheric CO2 down to preindustrial or lower levels until the climate is again tolerable. And we should do this fast before the AGW reinforcing effects make it more expensive or next to impossible. One of these is the tundra permafrost melting, which will/would release wast amounts of locked CO2 and methane deposits. Another reason to bring down the CO2 is ocean acidification which is often not discussed. It also will ruin ecosystems.

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