Global warming ‘irreversible’ for next 1000 years.

As reported by AFP, NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) scientists have released a study saying that current levels of global warming will cause irreversible damage, no matter what is done in the future to decrease CO2 and other related emissions.  I will add a link to the primary scientific article when the link is published.

“NOAA senior scientist Susan Solomon said the study, published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, showed that current human choices on carbon dioxide emissions are set to “irreversibly change the planet.” Researchers examined the consequences of CO2 building up beyond present-day concentrations of 385 parts per million, and then completely stopping emissions after the peak. Before the industrial age CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere amounted to only 280 parts per million. The study found that CO2 levels are irreversibly impacting climate change, which will contribute to global sea level rise and rainfall changes in certain regions. The authors emphasized that increases in CO2 that occur from 2000 to 2100 are set to “lock in” a sea level rise over the next 1,000 years.”

This is certainly well past a wake-up call, if anybody still needed one. Here’s where the relentless optimist meets the original cynic: I refuse to accept that it is worthless to make the biggest changes possible to head off increased global warming. Am I denying science? No, I’m just clinging to hope.

Original text copyright © 2009 James K. Bashkin

See futher discussion of this post here at Gather.com.

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  1. dragonmage06

    Studies like this scare the crud out of me.

    • It certainly is disturbing, but all we can do is try to fix things now, ASAP, and hope for the best. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Ava

    Hi…love this blog.

    My name is Ava and I’m from a site called The Reef Tank (http://www.thereeftank.com/). Had a question about this blog for the person in charge having to do with a global warming project TRT is doing (connecting global warming and marine life.) Anyway, was hoping the person who runs this blog could e-mail me back at XXXXX@XXX.com since I can’t find an e-mail anywhere.

    Thanks again and hope I hear from you soon! Please e-mail me for more details on this project.

    Ava
    (http://www.thereeftank.com/blog)

    • Thanks Ava! I’m enjoying your blog as well. Best wishes, Jim

  3. Haha, not a very hopeful post, but then again it’s not a happy topic. Any chance investment in technology by the US, India and China could make a real difference?

    • Robb, thanks for the comment. I sure hope so (about technology making a difference)! China is making a lot of inroads into clean tech, but the Chinese are producing products for the US and European markets while frequently messing up their own environment severely. China is also implementing solar power, so it isn’t an either-or situation (see articles about First Solar winning contracts to install huge solar facilities in China- I don’t have the links handy but they are very recent as of 9/09).

      India isn’t as far along as China, and the recent introduction of very inexpensive cars by Tata motors could be a bad thing… they do get great gas mileage but could also put lots of new drivers on the road. So, it is complicated (I applaud Tata for some of their technology and work).

      Thanks again for the feedback! Jim

      Mainly, we need to get away from carbon fuels. Soon. As in yesterday. I hope we take this on properly, but can’t say I’m overly optimistic. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying!

  4. I’m typing about sulfuric acid and its influence on environment and human health. Sulfuric acid that appear as acid rain also contribute to its damage

    • Thanks, your website looks nice. Best wishes, Jim

  5. Studies indicate the upper safety limit for atmospheric CO2 is 350 parts per million (ppm). Atmospheric CO2 levels have stayed higher than 350 ppm since early 1988.

    • Thanks for that additional information, John.

  6. R Cochran

    Republicans don’t believe we have global warming. Why?? Is it just political propaganda? Do they think all Scientists are Democrats???

    • Interesting question. Based on discussions, debates and arguments with people online who are some of the Republicans you refer to, and also based on comments from Libertarians, some of whom identify with the Tea Party and some don’t, I can say the following:

      a) Some people hate Al Gore and are convinced that he personally contrived global warming as a way to get rich. I really haven’t been able to find out why they hate him, even though I’ve asked many times. Maybe he’s too happy (or was). When I point out that he’s already rich and doesn’t need to do anything, they ignore me. These Al Gore-hating people seem unbalanced to me.
      b) Some are convinced that compliance with environmental standards will be bad for business, and therefore bad for America. When I cite specific cases to the contrary, as in examples where greening of an industry made it more profitable, they don’t respond. However, there is a much held belief (Among Republicans) that people who believe in global warming hate business and want to destroy it.
      c) Some of the Libertarians make long, convoluted pseudo-science arguments for why “the data” don’t support global warming and how government scientists were forced into this liberal way of thinking. When I point out that, under Bush, the opposite was happening, and government scientists were disciplined and muzzled for writing about global warming, they claim that such scientists just wanted the PR and made up all the furor.
      d) There is a strong tendency among global warming denialists to quote, again and again, a small number of discredited studies “conducted” by, for example, people I have profiled on this site who now work for oik companies but previously worked for tobacco companies and reported on the “safety of cigarettes.” These are sham scientists. There is also a “petition” signed by many prominent people that discredits global warming, but it was put on the web by someone discredited by his own institution; this petition was discredited long ago, and in fact was “signed” by many people who were dead long before it was written. Anyway, this silly petition raises its ugly head again and again by many Republicans and Libertarians, who apparently will cling to anything that supports their prejudices, no matter how often it was discredited.

      I can only conclude that these Republican global warming denialists tend to believe that all communication is propaganda, while many other people (of whatever party) believe that some communication might be propaganda, but other things are simply communication of facts. All of these issues make it very hard to have serious and respectful differences of opinion, and productive debate, or so I have found in the past 3 or 4 years when I’ve been pretty active in the area, off and on, as time has permitted.

      Best wishes and thanks for the comments. I’d welcome civil debate on these points from anyone.

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