Saturday, 28 July 2018

Global Warming: Worse Than Was Thought

Global Warming: Worse Than Was Thought
Global Warming: Worse Than Was Thought
Green Sahara Desert, polar caps collapsing, a rise in sea level by 20-foot new study reveals that these may be what will be in store for us in the future. The potential future climate models predicted for our planet may just be less than what is actually going to happen. New analysis show that global warming may turn out to be twice what current projections estimate.

The research which was done by scientists from 17 countries, and was published last week, paints a bad picture of what influence global warming has on the future of Earth. This is even if the world meet the Climate Agreement of Paris, signed in December 2015 as the global plan of action with the goal to reduce global warming to 2°C degrees Celsius (i.e. 3.6°F degrees Fahrenheit) above that of the pre-industrial levels. As put by the study co-author Alan Mix, the Paris agreement which President of the united state Donald Trump has already dropped out of in year 2017. May not even be enough to steer the planet away from a destructive path.

As a fact, the rise in global sea level alone can bring to the earth disastrous consequences. “We should expect the sea-level rise could become unstoppable for a millennia, which would greatly impact the world’s population, infrastructure and economic activity,” said professor Mix of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences of the Oregon State University. These conclusions were made from investigations into the history of the natural global warming of our planet which can help detained the possible scenarios of the future. For them to see what the future holds for our planet, they looked as far back as 3.5 million years back and analyzed three warm periods.

These were some of the best global warming periods in the Earth’s existence that are documented These are:

1. The Holocene thermal maximum (which took place 5,000 to 9,000 years ago).

2. The last inter-glacial (that happened between 129,000 and 116,000 years ago)

3. The mid-Pliocene warm period (recorded About some 3.3-3 million years ago).

At all these times, Earth’s climate was 0.5°C to 2°C degrees Celsius warmer than that of the pre-industrial 19th Century. The first two, more recent, global warming events were brought about by changes in earth's orbit. But the mid-Pliocene global warming, was triggered by carbon dioxide (CO2) present in the atmosphere, at concentrations of 350 to 450 parts per million — which is more or less what we have today.

Dire Effects
Taking a look at the  various assessments pertaining the paleoclimate methods, which are the measurements of atomic isotopes which are used for dating , polar ice caps,  sediment layers and fossil records coupled with the three warming periods the team got a good idea of what was to happen. They found  that the climate change in the Earth’s past produced an array of tragic consequences, that started  with the collapse of polar ice caps, the major gathering of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland,  the rise of sea levels by at least 20 feet and a major change in marine ecosystem caused by significant redistribution of planktons only to mention a few.

Maybe the most fascinating of them was the Sahara desert becoming greener , a decline of high altitude forest species and the tropical forest giving way to the fire dominated savanna. It was also revealed in the study that these effects were strengthened by what they are calling "amplifying mechanisms" which were not accurately shown in climate models which makes the problem worse than we expected. Prof. Hubertus Fischer the study lead and an expert in climate and environmental physics at Switzerland university of Bern said “Observations of past warming periods suggest that a number of amplifying mechanisms, which are poorly represented in climate models, increase long-term warming beyond climate model projections”. What does this mean for the Earths future? Seeing as  the Earth now is warming  much more faster than it did during any of the three global warming events mention in the past, and CO2 emissions caused by humans are on the increase and as at April  reached a 60-year high the future of the Earth is looking foggy.

As the study states even if we happen to end emissions now, the Earth will not attain atmospheric stability until after centuries or even millennia. “This suggests the carbon budget to avoid 2°C of global warming may be far less than estimated, leaving very little room for error to meet the Paris targets,” Fischer pointed out. The Fault With Current Climate Models. So what is the problem with our climate models. As put by study co-author Prof. Katrin Meissner, these climate models do the job when used for short term effects of climate but you have to adjust the equation to factor in more persistent effects that is when these prediction “underestimate climate change” Meissner said  who is the head at the Climate Change Research Center New South Wales university  in Australia. “Even if we have just 2 degrees of warming  and even  potentially just 1.5°C degrees there would still be major impacts on the Earth ”. Current climate models are good for little changes like low emissions over a short period, maybe over the next few decades up to 2100 but  as the changes begin to get larger and more persistent, either due to higher emissions it appears these models underestimate climate change.


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