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Author Topic: The best possible climate change recovery timespan?  (Read 1979 times)

Offline ConfusedHermit

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If everyone on the planet were to open their eyes to the truth and see that significant human-caused climate change was happening and had the resources to apply every type of green energy alternative in existence and used them--

How many years until the planet would be back to 'normal?'

How many years until the planet would actually become 'better' than 'normal?'


 

Offline grizelda

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Re: The best possible climate change recovery timespan?
« Reply #1 on: 31/07/2012 22:15:38 »
Actually the only government-allowed solution is "taxes" and the time to recovery under this scenario is "not in gods lifetime".
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: The best possible climate change recovery timespan?
« Reply #2 on: 01/08/2012 00:01:12 »
There are "solutions" though.
One possible solution would be for global governments to stop issuing drill & coal mining permits.
At the same time, the governments would have to invest heavily in alternative "clean" energy.
If we could only figure out what that truly is first.

While Europe may be big on wind energy, Brazil may in fact be leading the world for alcohol as fuel.

Grizelda may be right though, that will only happen when pigs fly.
Or, when all the resources run out.
Or, perhaps when a large portion of the people in the world start experiencing dire consequences that can not be blamed on random fluctuations in weather patterns.

We are entering one of the lowest solar maxima in a century or so.  Then later this decade, moving towards the next solar minimum.  This will be very telling about the climate impacts of the sun vs CO2, and can potentially drive climate policy onward.   The big question is what will happen with the next solar cycle, #25, and future cycles.

If we could wake up tomorrow and cease burning CO2, the atmospheric recovery of CO2 levels would actually be quite rapid.  Perhaps in a century or so, most of the excess CO2 would be mopped up from the atmosphere (mostly being absorbed into the ocean).  The ocean CO2 levels could remain high for quite some time, but the oceans would benefit from eventual dilution of the water from "near surface", throughout the entire ocean basin.

Even if we wait 50 years to begin the "cleanup", a century later and the atmospheric levels would have dropped to pre-2000 levels, perhaps down to the mid century levels.

Of course, the quantity and rapidity of the CO2 dissolving in the oceans will depend on the temperature shift of the oceans.  If the ocean temperatures rise substantially, then the recovery would be much much longer.
 

Offline ConfusedHermit

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Re: The best possible climate change recovery timespan?
« Reply #3 on: 01/08/2012 15:23:32 »
A century? I hope we wake up before I get too old! IF we live up to the point, of course...

Thank you for the responses :{D~
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: The best possible climate change recovery timespan?
« Reply #4 on: 02/08/2012 12:28:16 »
If we entered a period of low solar activity, like the Maunder Minimum, that might stabilise temperatures for a few years - but when that one-shot improvement plateaued, the climate would resume something like the previous trajectory. Prediction of the next sunspot cycle is beyond our current capabilities; controlling them would require an act of God.

Even if we could halt the temperature rise, increased CO2 concentrations in the oceans would affect coral and other sea-life adversely for perhaps a century.

I am sure that some plants would benefit from increased CO2, while others would do worse. Similarly, some people in some colder climates would appreciate a warmer environment, while already hot climates won't appreciate it at all!

But the real loss will be in biodiversity - birds and some animals may be able to migrate to more comfortable climates, but many species can't cross areas of farmland or suburbia, and risk extinction or an unhealthy reduction in numbers. Even if some species do move, it will produce a different ecological mix, with many less-mobile species left behind.

 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: The best possible climate change recovery timespan?
« Reply #4 on: 02/08/2012 12:28:16 »

 

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