Climate: Are you ready for a greenhouse world?


We are creating a greenhouse world.

More research confirms climate sensitivity to CO2

Staff Report

FRISCO — It’s seems more certain than ever that the buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere is pushing the planet’s toward an entirely different state, according scientists in the UK.

Releasing a new study that took another detailed look at atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the warm Pliocene era, 2 to 3 million years ago, the researchers said it’s very likely that we are headed toward a much warmer future. Continue reading

Global warming: Study tries to pin down climate sensitivity


How sensitive is the climate to greenhouse gases?

Are you ready for 20 percent more warming?

Staff Report

FRISCO — The recent slowdown in the rate of global warming is a hiccup on the way to a hotter world, NASA scientists said this week. In fact, Earth is likely to experience roughly 20 percent more warming than estimates that were largely based on surface temperature observations during the past 150 years.

The NASA study, led by Drew Shindell, a climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, concludes Earth’s climate likely will continue to warm during this century on track with previous estimates, despite the recent slowdown in the rate of global warming. Continue reading

Global warming: New research suggests climate may be more sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought


Convective clouds over the Florida coast. bberwyn photo.

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

Greenhouse gas ‘hangover’ could last 1000s of years

‘We need to put the impact that humans have on this planet into a historic and geologic context’

mlo_full_record-800x447By 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

Study confirms heating effects of greenhouse gas buildup

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


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