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Only zero emissions can prevent a warmer planet

Source:  Copyright 2008, New Scientist
Date:  February 29, 2008
Byline:  Kate Ravilious
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Greenhouse gas emissions will have to be eliminated completely to stabilise the Earth's climate and prevent temperatures from rising. That’s the conclusion of climatologists in the US who say that our current efforts to merely stabilise emissions will not be enough.

Damon Matthews, from Concordia University in Canada, and Ken Caldeira, from the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, USA, used a global climate model to study how greenhouse emissions would need to change in order to stabilise global temperatures over the next few hundred years. Previous studies have only looked at what happens when emissions are stabilised.

Humans have been releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in increasing quantities since the industrial revolution. But to simplify the simulation, Matthews and Caldeira injected a single pulse of carbon dioxide into a pre-industrial atmosphere.

Pulse sizes of 50, 200, 500 and 2000 billion ...

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