Interactions Between Carbon Dioxide Emissions And Atmospheric Reactions Under The Loup

April 28, 2008 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

Writers at Carbon Balance and Management have published a study which shows just what happens as the cycle of carbon emissions and climate change reaches its saturation point.

We all know the theory underlying the global warming threat; landmass and oceans contain carbon and exchange carbon dioxide with the atmosphere. As our climate changes, the amount of CO2 absorbed by the land or the oceans changes. The link between the carbon cycle and CO2 emissions might very well only be relevant for the next ‘several centuries. After that, there is no longer a connection between the two.

The Carbon Balance and Management scientists researched how feedback between our climate and the carbon cycle changes over time and explain the process in some detail. In their simulations, the authors assumed that fossil fuel emissions would grow exponentially with a characteristic timescale from 50 to 250 years.

The experiments pointed out that climate–carbon cycle feedback grows at first, then peaks and eventually decreases to a point where the feedback ceases. As you’d imagine, if the rate of emissions slowed, the peak would be reached much later and an increase in emissions results in a faster reaching of the peak between climate and carbon emissions.

Even though we don’t have exact data on actual levels of CO2 emissions and atmospheric interactions, the study suggest painstakingly sharply that we are heading inexorably towards the saturation peak, irrespective of how quickly we get there. “Even weak but continuing emissions lead to eventual saturation of the climate–carbon cycle feedback”, the authors assert.

Entry filed under: Green News, Green Scientific Discoveries.

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