Posted on January 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Correcting models with new information on cloud formation leads to higher projected temperature increases
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Climate scientists taking a closer look at the role of water vapor in cloud formation say the climate is probably more sensitive to greenhouse gases than most existing models suggest.
Based on those observations, they concluded that global temperatures could easily climb by at least 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century if carbon dioxide emissions continue unchecked.
The research, published in the journal Nature, helps answer one of the long-standing questions about climate sensitivity — the role of cloud formation and whether this will have a positive or negative effect on global warming. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Climate sensitivity, cloud formation, global warming, greenhouse gases, University of New South Wales, Water vapor | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 10, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
‘We need to put the impact that humans have on this planet into a historic and geologic context’
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Most climate projections focus on the on the next 100 years or so, a scale of time that’s comprehensible in the context of a human life, but this generation’s production of heat-trapping greenhouse gases is likely to have impacts far beyond that horizon.
“Politicians may think in four-year terms but we as scientists can and should think in much longer terms,” said Richard Zeebe, a professor of oceanography at the University of Hawai’i. “We need to put the impact that humans have on this planet into a historic and geologic context,” said Zeebe, who recently published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that examines mankind’s long-term legacy of fossil fuel burning.
Insights from climate-change episodes in the geologic past suggest that future warming from today’s greenhouse gases could be more intense and longer-lasting than previously thought. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Climate sensitivity, global warming, greenhouse gases, University of Hawaii | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 30, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Doubling of CO2 likely to result in 2.2 to 4.8 degrees Celsius warming
New research helps pinpoint the amount of heating caused by greenhouse gases.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Climate scientists know that greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane trap heat in the atmosphere, but there’s still some uncertainty about how the overall system responds to varying levels of those gases.
By studying the paleoclimatic record, researchers have been able to measure relationships between past greenhouse gas increases and temperatures to some degree, and new research is helping them evaluate past climate sensitivity data to help improve comparison with estimates of long-term climate projections developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The scientists found that the likely range of climate sensitivity consistently has been of the order of 2.2 to 4.8 degrees Celsius per doubling of CO2, which closely agrees with the IPCC estimates. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: climate, Climate sensitivity, global warming, greenhouse gases, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, Radiative forcing | 2 Comments »