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. (more…)
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 »
Posted on November 22, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Greenhouse gas concentrations are increasing.
Increased concentrations add up to 30 percent more heating effect in just the past 20 years
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — With heat-trapping greenhouse gases rising to a new record high in 2011, the World Meteorological Organization calculated that there has been a 30 percent increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – just in the past 20 years.
In its annual greenhouse gas bulletin, the WMO estimated that humankind has released about 375 billion tons of carbon the atmosphere as CO2 since the start of the industrial era in 1750. About half of this carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere, with the rest being absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial biosphere. (more…)
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: carbon dioxide, climate, global warming, greenhouse gases, Radiative forcing, World Meteorological Organization | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 6, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Extra atmospheric energy likely to manifest in intensification of global water cycle
*Editor’s note: Under a content-sharing agreement, Summit Voice will occasionally be offering stories from Climate Progress.
By Stephen Lacey
How much extra energy are we putting in the atmosphere through emission of greenhouse gases? One Australian researcher put it into context: “The radiative forcing of the CO2 we have already put in the atmosphere in the last century is … the equivalent in energy terms to almost half a billion Hiroshima bombs each year.”
With more energy radiating down on the planet rather than back up into space, the planet continues to heat up. As the atmosphere warms, it is able to hold more water vapor — thus strengthening the global hydrological cycle.
With all that extra energy, more water is pulled out of the subtropic regions and moved toward higher-precipitation areas in the subpolar regions, resulting in stronger droughts and stronger storms. Or, as the video above explains, how the wet gets wetter and the dry gets drier.
Visit Climate Progress for more.
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Climate disruption, Environment, global warming, global water cycle, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Radiative forcing | Leave a Comment »