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Science magazine article on CO2

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Hi All, Science for 19 September 2008 contains an article, Illuminating the Modern Dance of Climate and CO2 . One of the most important questions in climate
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2008
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      Hi All,

      Science for 19 September 2008 contains an article,
      "Illuminating the Modern Dance of Climate and CO2".

      One of the most important questions in climate science
      today is what effect warming has on the ability of
      natural systems to absorb atmospheric CO2. These systems
      tend to moderate the warming observed for a given amount
      of additional CO2 released.

      The authors were able to use data from the Little Ice
      Age to calculate the system response. The bad news is
      that, of the six main models in use, only one falls in
      the range that is verified by the Little Ice Age data,
      and that model is the one that predicts the greatest
      amount of warming in the 21st century. It appears that
      the ability of natural systems to absorb CO2 deteriorates
      faster in the presence of higher CO2 levels than had
      been thought.

      The upshot of this is that we are probably homing in
      on the most devastating levels of temperature increase
      within the range that had been proposed. "The LIA data
      imply that atmospheric CO2 will increase more quickly
      with global warming than most models suggest."

      So, maybe the best thing that could happen to the US
      economy would be a total melt down. The resulting
      decline in economic activity would sharply curtail
      the release of CO2 in the USA, which now accounts for
      about 25% of the world's total. This is a hell of a
      note, but the country seems unlikely to take effective
      action of its own accord.

      Best,

      Joel


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