Global warming ‘irreversible’ for next 1000 years according to new study

January 27, 2009

WASHINGTON (ChattahBox) – A new study led by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), found that Climate change is “largely irreversible” for the next 1,000 years.

Even if carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could be abruptly halted, the study’s authors said there was “no going back.” And in fact surface temperature, rainfall and sea level are “largely irreversible for more than 1,000 years even with CO2 emissions completely stopped.”

The authors emphasized that increases in CO2 that occur from 2000 to 2100 are set to “lock in” a sea level rise over the next 1,000 years and rainfall changes in certain regions.

Rising sea levels would cause “irreversible commitments to future changes in the geography of the Earth, since many coastal and island features would ultimately become submerged,” the study said.

Decreases in rainfall that last for centuries can be expected to have a range of impacts, said the authors. Regional impacts include — but are not limited to — decreased human water supplies, increased fire frequency, ecosystem change and expanded deserts.

The report also notes that if CO2 is allowed to go beyond present-day concentrations of 385 parts per millionpeak to 450-600 parts per million, the results would include persistent decreases in dry-season rainfall that are comparable to the 1930s North American Dust Bowl in zones including southern Europe, northern Africa, southwestern North America, southern Africa and western Australia.

The full report can be found here.


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