Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Climate change: Fast out of the gate, slow to the finish the gate
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 03, 2013

File image courtesy AFP.

A great deal of research has focused on the amount of global warming resulting from increased greenhouse gas concentrations. But there has been relatively little study of the pace of the change following these increases.

A new study by Carnegie's Ken Caldeira and Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures concludes that about half of the warming occurs within the first 10 years after an instantaneous step increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, but about one-quarter of the warming occurs more than a century after the step increase. Their work is published in Environmental Research Letters.

The study was the result of an unusual collaboration of a climate scientist, Ken Caldeira, who contributed to the recently published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, and Nathan Myhrvold, the founder and CEO of a technology corporation, Intellectual Ventures LLC. It is the third paper on which they have collaborated

The study brings together results from the majority of the world's leading climate models. Caldeira and Myhrvold analyzed more than 50 climate simulations, which were performed using 20 different climate models for the Climate Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5).

They found a fairly high degree of consensus on the general character of the pace of climate change. In response to an instantaneous increase in greenhouse gas emissions, climate change is fast out of the starting gate but then slows down, and takes a long time to approach the finish line.

There is substantial quantitative disagreement among climate models, however. For example, one model reaches 38 percent of the maximum warming in the first decade after a step increase in CO2 concentration, while another model reaches 61 percent of the maximum warming in this time period. Similarly, one model reaches only 60 percent of maximum warming in the first century after the step increase, while another achieves 86 percent of maximum warming during this interval.

There is also substantial uncertainty in the ultimate amount of warming that would result from any given increase in atmospheric CO2 content. The most sensitive model predicts more than twice as much warming as the least-sensitive model.

Uncertainty in the amount of warming combines with uncertainty in the pace of warming. From an instantaneous doubling of atmospheric CO2 content from the pre-industrial base level, some models would project 2 C (3.6 F) of global warming in less than a decade while others would project that it would take more than a century to achieve that much warming.

"While there is substantial uncertainty in both the pace of change and the ultimate amounts of warming following an increase in greenhouse gas concentration," Caldeira said, "there is little uncertainty in the basic outlook.

If we continue increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations with emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas, the Earth will continue to get hotter. If we want the Earth to stop getting hotter, we have to stop building things with smokestacks and tailpipes that emit CO2 into the atmosphere."


Related Links
Carnegie Institution
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Reconstruction for the eastern Mediterranean temps based on tree rings
Potsdam, Germany (SPX) Oct 01, 2013
For the first time a long temperature reconstruction on the basis of stable carbon isotopes in tree rings has been achieved for the eastern Mediterranean. An exactly dated time series of almost 900 year length was established, exhibiting the medieval warm period, the little ice age between the 16th and 19th century as well as the transition into the modern warm phase. Moreover, Ingo Heinri ... read more

China unveils its first and unnamed moon rover

Mission to moon will boost research and awareness

Mighty Eagle Improves Autonomous Landing Software With Successful Flight

Watch Out for the Harvest Moon

First ARCA flight in the ExoMars Program completed successfully

A Seasonal Ozone Layer Over The Martian South Pole

Taking Snapshots Galore at 'Solander Point'

NASA Wants Investigations for a Mars 2020 Rover

Paper written as science hoax published by 157 science journals

Tokyo gadget show offers glimpse of tomorrow

Astronauts Practice Launching in NASA's New Orion Spacecraft

"GRAVITY" is Almost Here

Chinese VP stresses peaceful use of space

China's space station to open for foreign peers

Last Days for Tiangong

China civilian technology satellites put into use

Aerojet Rocketdyne Thrusters Help Cygnus Spacecraft Berth at the International Space Station

First CASIS Funded Payloads Berthed to the ISS

Unmanned cargo ship docks with orbiting Space Station

New space crew joins ISS on Olympic torch mission

Arianespace's next Ariane 5 mission will serve two key customers: SES and HISPASAT

After Successful Spacecraft Docking, US Orbits Five Satellites

US private spacecraft company SpaceX launches upgraded Falcon rocket

UFO? Star cluster? No, it's Falcon 9's jettisoned fuel

Astronomers create first cloud map of distant planet

How Engineers Revamped Spitzer to Probe Exoplanets

ESA selects SSTL to design Exoplanet satellite mission

Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Lines between Stars and Planets

Bright, laser-based lighting devices

S. Korean steel plant in India could displace 22,000, says UN

New sensor could prolong the lifespan of high-temperature engines

Paradigm shift: Need something in space? Print it, don't ship it

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement