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An argument in favor of reducing the greenhouse gas emission in the world

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions may not be enough to preserve Earth's current climate: study

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions may not be enough to preserve Earth's current climate: The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation's top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, Ga.

A new study, just out Tuesday in the journal Earth System Dynamics, suggests that merely reducing greenhouse gas emissions may no longer be enough - and that special technology, aimed at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, may also be necessary to keep the Earth's climate within safe limits for future generations.

The research was largely inspired by a landmark climate change lawsuit brought by 21 children against the federal government, which is scheduled to go to trial in Februaryand will be used as scientific support in the case. In fact, its lead author, Columbia University climatologist and former NASA scientist James Hansen, is a plaintiff on the case, along with his now year-old granddaughter.

An argument in favor of reducing the greenhouse gas emission in the world

The new paper argues that the Paris Agreement's target of keeping global temperatures within 2. During a previous warm period in the earth's history, known as the Eemian, or the last interglacial period, the planet experienced similar levels of warming, the authors note - and the resulting consequences included the disintegration of ice sheets and about 19 feet of sea level rise.

Noting the dramatic changes that occurred during the last interglacial period, the paper calls for a more stringent target of bringing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels down from their current concentration of more than parts per million to about parts per million by the end of the century. This would bring global temperature closer to a 1-degree threshold, rather than 1. But the study has already come in from some criticism from other scientists, such as Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who told the Post that some aspects of the study were "alarmist" and that if changes come slowly enough, society will be able to adapt to them.

Trenberth said he disagreed that the 1 degree target is justified and thinks that even 1. Inhe and more than a dozen colleagues published a highly contested paper in the open-access journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, suggesting that sea level rise may occur more rapidly in this century than previously predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

  1. A new study, just out Tuesday in the journal Earth System Dynamics, suggests that merely reducing greenhouse gas emissions may no longer be enough - and that special technology, aimed at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, may also be necessary to keep the Earth's climate within safe limits for future generations. In the new study, the researchers suggest that allowing temperatures to creep into the Eemian range once again could eventually trigger the onset of certain slow-developing climate processes that may ultimately enhance global warming, once again inducing catastrophic ice melt, sea-level rise and other harmful climate effects.
  2. The research was largely inspired by a landmark climate change lawsuit brought by 21 children against the federal government, which is scheduled to go to trial in February 2018, and will be used as scientific support in the case. Hansen that the current trajectory presents some unacceptable risks.
  3. In fact, its lead author, Columbia University climatologist and former NASA scientist James Hansen, is a plaintiff on the case, along with his now year-old granddaughter.

In the new study, the researchers suggest that allowing temperatures to creep into the Eemian range once again could eventually trigger the onset of certain slow-developing climate processes that may ultimately enhance global warming, once again inducing catastrophic ice melt, sea-level rise and other harmful climate effects. For instance, continued loss of ice may reduce the earth's reflectivity, they suggest, allowing more solar radiation to warm the planet's surface and melt more ice.

But to keep temperatures lower, the paper finds, would require not only significant emissions reductions efforts, but also the use of "negative emissions" technology, or special methods for pulling carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere. Using models, the researchers suggest that if immediate and significant emissions reduction efforts are undertaken - amounting to a decline in global carbon output by at least 3 percent annually starting in the next four years - then less carbon extraction will be needed.

An argument in favor of reducing the greenhouse gas emission in the world

A majority of it could be accomplished through basic changes in agricultural and forestry practices to promote greater storage of carbon in vegetation and soil. On the other hand, the longer global greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to remain at high levels, the more carbon extraction will be needed to reach this target, requiring additional, costlier forms of technology.

These may include the burning of biomass for energy, accompanied with carbon capture and storage technology, or technology that directly sucks carbon dioxide out of the air. Other researchers are a little more cautiously accepting of the paper's points.

Cristian Proistosescu, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington who was not involved with the new research but who recently led a major study, himself, on the potential future impact of slow-developing climate modes expressed some skepticism about using the earth's ancient history as an analogy for the future.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions may not be enough to preserve Earth's current climate: study

He noted that some of the conditions that were true during the Eemian - the existence of large ice sheets that have already disappeared, for instance - are not the same now. And because humans have not been around to witness some of the slow-developing climate processes that scientists fear will intensify in the future, there's uncertainty about how and even whether they will affect future climate change.

Once you start thinking in terms of risks I would concur with Dr. Hansen that the current trajectory presents some unacceptable risks.