More bad news: Arresting CO2 releases not enough. We must remove CO2.
New research into Earth’s paleoclimate history by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies director James E. Hansen suggests the potential for rapid climate changes this century…
Hansen found that global mean temperatures during the Eemian period, which began about 130,000 years ago and lasted about 15,000 years, were less than 1 degree Celsius warmer than today. If temperatures were to rise 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times, global mean temperature would far exceed that of the Eemian, when sea level was four to six meters higher than today, Hansen said.
“The paleoclimate record reveals a more sensitive climate than thought, even as of a few years ago. Limiting human-caused warming to 2 degrees is not sufficient,” Hansen said. “It would be a prescription for disaster.” …
“We don’t have a substantial cushion between today’s climate and dangerous warming,” Hansen said. “Earth is poised to experience strong amplifying feedbacks in response to moderate additional global warming.”
…this research is consistent with Hansen’s earlier findings that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would need to be rolled back from about 390 parts per million in the atmosphere today to 350 parts per million in order to stabilize the climate in the long term.
Posted by James on Thursday, December 15, 2011