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Warming World In Range Of Dangerous Consequences
Terra Daily ^ | 09/19/2008 | Staff Writers

Posted on 09/22/2008 2:34:51 PM PDT by cogitator

The earth will warm about 2.4 degrees C (4.3 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels even under extremely conservative greenhouse-gas emission scenarios and under the assumption that efforts to clean up particulate pollution continue to be successful, according to a new analysis by a pair of researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

That amount of warming falls within what the world's leading climate change authority recently set as the threshold range of temperature increase that would lead to widespread loss of biodiversity, deglaciation and other adverse consequences in nature.

The researchers, writing in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, argue that coping with these circumstances will require "transformational research for guiding the path of future energy consumption."

"This paper demonstrates the major challenges society will have to face in dealing with a problem that now seems unavoidable," said the paper's lead author, Scripps Atmospheric and Climate Sciences Professor V. Ramanathan.

"We hope that governments will not be forced to consider trade-offs between air pollution abatement and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions."

In their analysis, Ramanathan and co-author Yan Feng, a Scripps postdoctoral research fellow, assumed a highly optimistic scenario that greenhouse gas concentrations would remain constant at 2005 levels for the next century.

For the concentrations to remain at 2005 levels, the emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide must decrease drastically within the next decade.

Economic expansion, however, is expected to see emissions increase. The researchers then analyzed expected future warming by assuming that the cooling effect of man-made aerosol pollution will be eliminated during the 21st Century.

Currently, particulate air pollution caused by fossil fuel combustion, forest fires and smoke from cooking and agricultural waste burning serves to mask global warming caused by greenhouse gases. The smog does so chiefly by creating a dimming effect at Earth's surface.

But mitigation of this type of pollution has been increasingly successful by countries around the world. Because soot and similar particles remain airborne only for a matter of weeks, it is expected that clean-up efforts produce relatively immediate results.

Therefore, the authors based their projections of temperature increase assuming the absence of these pollutants in the atmosphere.

By contrast, greenhouse gases can remain in the atmosphere for decades or, in the case of carbon dioxide, more than a century.

Ramanathan and Feng estimated that the increase in greenhouse gases from pre-industrial era levels has already committed Earth to a warming range of 1.4 degrees C to 4.3 degrees C (2.5 degrees F to 7.7 degrees F). About 90 percent of that warming will most likely be experienced in the 21st Century.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identified a temperature increase range between 1 degrees C and 3 degreesC (1.8 degrees F and 5.4 degreesF) as the threshold at which society commits the planet to biodiversity loss and deglaciation in areas such as Greenland and the Himalayas.

The pace at which the world approaches the threshold depends in part on national and international air pollution reduction policies. Despite the masking effects of atmospheric aerosols, the authors note that their removal is still an important objective because of the deleterious human health, agricultural and water supply effects of smog.

The authors point out that the real problem is not the reduction of air pollution, but it is the lack of comparable reductions in emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to offset the reductions in the surface cooling effect of fog. The paper also offers potential solutions.

"Given that a potentially large warming is already in our rear-view mirror, scientists and engineers must mount a massive effort and develop solutions for adapting to climate change and for mitigating it," Ramanathan said.

"Drastic reduction of short-lived warming agents is one way to buy the planet time for developing cost-effective ways for reducing CO2 concentrations."

TOPICS: Science; Society
KEYWORDS: climatechangee; consequences; environnment; model; pollution; warming
Professor V. (Ram) Ramanathan
1 posted on 09/22/2008 2:34:51 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks


2 posted on 09/22/2008 2:35:42 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

It snowed in Africa today

3 posted on 09/22/2008 2:36:05 PM PDT by al baby (Hi mom I know McCain couldnÂ’t answer her in a flippant way, but IF HE COULD it would have nice to)
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To: cogitator; OKSooner; honolulugal; Killing Time; Beowulf; Mr. Peabody; RW_Whacko; gruffwolf; ...

FReepmail me to get on or off

Click on POGW graphic for full GW rundown

New!!: Dr. John Ray's

Ping me if you find one I've missed.

Southbound end of a northbound jackass..
4 posted on 09/22/2008 2:43:35 PM PDT by xcamel (Conservatives start smart, and get rich, liberals start rich, and get stupid.)
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To: al baby
It snowed in Africa today

Just another consequence of global warming (or so they will say).

5 posted on 09/22/2008 2:48:15 PM PDT by nonsporting
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To: cogitator; Normandy; Delacon; According2RecentPollsAirIsGood; TenthAmendmentChampion; calcowgirl; ..

Beam me to Planet Gore !

6 posted on 09/22/2008 2:48:54 PM PDT by steelyourfaith
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To: steelyourfaith
From a writeup: New derivation of equations governing the greenhouse effect reveals "runaway warming" impossible:

Miskolczi's story reads like a book. Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution -- originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today -- ignored boundary conditions by assuming an "infinitely thick" atmosphere. Similar assumptions are common when solving differential equations; they simplify the calculations and often result in a result that still very closely matches reality. But not always.

So Miskolczi re-derived the solution, this time using the proper boundary conditions for an atmosphere that is not infinite. His result included a new term, which acts as a negative feedback to counter the positive forcing. At low levels, the new term means a small difference ... but as greenhouse gases rise, the negative feedback predominates, forcing values back down.

NASA refused to release the results. Miskolczi believes their motivation is simple. "Money", he tells DailyTech. Research that contradicts the view of an impending crisis jeopardizes funding, not only for his own atmosphere-monitoring project, but all climate-change research. Currently, funding for climate research tops $5 billion per year.

7 posted on 09/22/2008 2:59:18 PM PDT by DJtex
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To: cogitator
That guy at the link is a hack and a lier. Look at the pictures on his website:

Caption: "taken on March 25, 2001, approximately 30 km south of Mt. Everest (top panel), from a flight altitude of about 3 km. Both photographs were taken from the same location, one viewing north (top) and the other south (bottom)..."

He doesn't bother mentioning that there was a wildfire burning in Sagarmatha National Park from March 15, 2001 till reported still burning on March 19, 2001 "unabated". Couldn't find how long it actually burned.

More anthropogenic lies.

Park fire razes on (scroll down to headline)

8 posted on 09/22/2008 3:43:48 PM PDT by Domandred (McWhathisname / Palin - 2008)
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To: cogitator

I don’t suppose it would be too much trouble to ask Mr. Ramanathan if he is driving a Prius, if he is so worried about global warming? (I’m currently considering purchasing one, not due to global warming mitigation, but due to oil and gasoline prices.)

9 posted on 09/22/2008 5:09:47 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Drill Here! Drill Now! Pay Less! Sign the petition at
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
I don’t suppose it would be too much trouble to ask Mr. Ramanathan if he is driving a Prius,

He doesn't need one.

10 posted on 09/22/2008 7:17:54 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: Domandred
Pollution, Greenhouse Gases And Climate Clash In South Asia
11 posted on 09/22/2008 7:26:17 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

We just don’t need this stuff now.

12 posted on 09/22/2008 9:54:45 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Obama's Pay Grade: Chump Change - Under the Cone of Stupid)
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