Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

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The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Thursday, 17 February 2011

WARMER EARTH EVEN WITH ZERO EMISSIONS

New research by the University of Washington (UW), reported on ScienceDaily, shows that the world is committed to a warmer climate because of emissions that have occurred up to now, regardless of what we do to mitigate the effects.

There would continue to be warming even if the most stringent policy proposals were adopted, because there still would be some emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. The new research shows that even if all emissions were stopped now, temperatures would remain higher than levels before the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century because the greenhouse gases already emitted will probably persist in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

In fact, temperatures may continue to escalate even if all cars, heating and cooling systems and other sources of greenhouse gases were suddenly eliminated, said Kyle Armour, a UW doctoral student in physics, because tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols, which tend to counteract the effect of greenhouse warming by reflecting sunlight back into space, would last only a matter of weeks once emissions stopped, but the greenhouse gases would continue.

'The aerosols would wash out quickly and then we would see an abrupt rise in temperatures over several decades,' he said.