Research highlights urgency of reducing carbon dioxide emissions

November 22, 2013, Victoria University of Wellington

Just-published research from Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Oxford highlights the urgency of reducing global emissions of carbon dioxide.

The release of the report, one of two published online in the leading scientific journal Nature Climate Change, coincides with international government ministers gathering in Warsaw for the latest round of negotiations.

The paper, led by Niel Bowerman from the Department of Physics at Oxford University with David Frame, Professor of Climate Change in the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University as co-author, looks at the impact of measures to cut emissions of other global warming agents such as methane and soot.

The scientists argue that the impact of reductions in short-lived climate pollutants, such as methane, depends strongly on their timing.

Professor Frame explains the key result: "This research shows that taking action today on emissions of short-lived climate pollutants will have relatively little impact on peak warming, unless are reduced at the same time.

"So action on these other pollutants does not 'buy time' to delay action on carbon dioxide."

Professor Frame says the findings have strong policy relevance for countries like New Zealand in which agriculture figures largely in emissions profiles.

"The reality is that today's matter little for peak warming unless carbon dioxide emissions drop rapidly in the coming decades. As long as carbon dioxide emissions are not falling, methane emissions can have little impact on the overall magnitude of warming."

In a second paper, Professor Myles Allen from Oxford University and Professor Thomas Stocker from the University of Bern assess the impact of further delay in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

"Unless we assume the long-suffering taxpayers of the 2020s somehow manage to compensate for continued procrastination now, peak carbon-dioxide-induced warming is increasing at the same rate as emissions themselves—almost two percent per year—much faster than observed warming," explains Professor Allen.

"So if we delay our goal to limit warning to two degrees for five years, starting in 2015 rather than 2010, that delay has already cost us two tenths of a degree which is equal to the observed warming that has taken place since the early 1990s."

Explore further: Breaking down the impact of greenhouse gases

More information: "The role of short-lived climate pollutants in meeting temperature goals." Niel H. A. Bowerman, David J. Frame, Chris Huntingford, Jason A. Lowe, Stephen M. Smith & Myles R. Allen. Nature Climate Change (2013) DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2034. 21 November 2013

"Impact of delay in reducing carbon dioxide emissions." Myles R. Allen, Thomas F. Stocker. Nature Climate Change (2013) DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2077 . 21 November 2013

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1 / 5 (7) Nov 22, 2013
Until and unless they can come up with a predictive climate model that can account for the current statistical halt in warming, going on 15 years now, then how in the hell can they still even be saying things like this with a straight face?

According to these same climate change alarmists, we should have had ZERO polar ice, a 200' sea level rise, and massive deforestation by now due to extreme weather and global droughts.

Y'all gotta get at least "something" right every now and then if you want to be taken seriously.
4 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2013
According to these same climate change alarmists, we should have had ZERO polar ice, a 200' sea level rise, and massive deforestation by now due to extreme weather and global droughts.

Really. You can, of course, point us to the studies that suggested this? Right?

There is no "halt" in the warming, contrary to your shrill demands it be otherwise. That you continue to mouth this tripe says far more about you than even your stupidly considered goalpost.

1 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2013
Simply put, the models were wrong. You can't argue with reality.

5 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2013
Simply put, the models were wrong. You can't argue with reality

Correct you cant – if it WAS reality
1st problem is that the intercept point was taken as being the same for all. This was not the case in reality.
2nd problem is that Spencer tries to fit radiosonde/sat data to these curves. Which is NOT possible due to inaccuracies inherent in both. Hence Spencer's standing in the climate science community. http://www.drroys...r-means/
From above:
"When I look at this graph it appears that most of the models have never agreed with the observed temperature. It seems strange that anyone would publish a study that is so off. I would assume that each model gets the climate temperature correct at least once for the time frame when they were published as it seems unlikely anyone would publish otherwise. So why don't we see this? Why does it seem like the models never get the temperature right?"

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