Blow hot, blow cold

Published: Wednesday 28 February 2007

Climate change is real. The sheen of industrial revolution is wearing off

Down to Earth >> The cat is out of the bag. Since its last report in 2001, IPCC has a wider range of data, and more accurate analysis of global climate. It has compared existing carbon levels with data from ice cores. Carbon emissions after 1750, the beginning of the industrial age, has increased in an unprecedented way--like nothing in hundreds of thousands of years earlier. The natural level of carbon emission in the last 65,000 years is 180-300 ppm. But the level has increased from 280 ppm in 1750 to 379 ppm in 2005

Down to Earth >> An economy based on fossil fuels is to blame. And the past 10 years have been worst. Annual average rise in carbon emissions in past 10 years (1995-2005) was 1.9 ppm--the average for 1960-2005 was 1.4 ppm

>> Annual sea level rise in recent years (3.1 mm in 1993-2003) has been higher than previous years (1.8 mm in 1961-2003).
The observed figures post 1993 are from satellite, as opposed to tide gauge, and are more accurate to the predicted climatic contribution
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>> And what the future holds is even worse

>> Paleoclimate science has thrown up a warning. It interprets that the warming of the past 50 years is unusual--at least when the previous 1,300 years are taken into account. The last time the polar regions were significantly warmer for an extended period than they are at present was about 125,000 years ago. At that time, melting of polar ice led to a sea level rise of four to six metres Down to Earth

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