Posts Tagged ‘change’

“Irreversible catastrophe”

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Some perspective on the stunning new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science that concludes

“… the climate change that is taking place because of increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop”

and that among these “irreversible impacts” are reductions in dry-season rainfall in several regions comparable to those of the “dust bowl” era, including southern Europe, northern Africa, southwestern North America, southern Africa. and western Australia:

Joseph Romm at climateprogress.org: “Bottom line: A few decades of prevention is worth 1,000 years of curemisery.”

James Hrynyshyn at scienceblogs.com: “What this means to me is those who are pushing for strong climate change mitigation action are going to have to emphasize that what’s already in the pipeline will pale compared with what will come if we don’t get our act together.” In ”Can geoengineering reverse irreversible climate change?” he also comments on the following qualification in the paper—”we do not consider geo-engineering measures that might be able to remove gases already in the atmosphere or to introduce active cooling to counteract warming.”