Is climate change real?

Posted on January 17, 2011 by

Climate Change is happening at worrisome pace. The results in terms of increased/decreased precipitations, more natural calamities, oceanic currents change is visible. As per the latest IPCC report, anthropogenic GHG emission in high quantity is resulting in changing the climatic patterns of the Earth’s atmosphere.  Political time and climatological time are very different from each other. Climate can be described by statistical analysis of mean values of atmospheric variables over a period and Political time is the timing of our affairs.  Politicians plan two to four year cycles for the climate change mitigation actions but it not the right planning cycle given the long climatological time scale.   This might be the biggest reason behind the stagnant growth of carbon reduction programs across the world.

Carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for a long time, may be for centuries or more.   As per the research papers published in ‘Nature Geosciences’, increased length of climatological time can slow down our efforts to reduce the global warming.  As previously discussed, climatological cycle is very long and the changing climatic patterns are evident over these cycles.  Concentration of CO2 in the range of 350 to 450 ppm is considered as a tolerable limit. We should limit our CO2 emissions so that the CO2 concentration remains within these limits. It would otherwise  lead to irreversible and damaging impacts of increased GHG concentration.  A group of Canadian researchers decided to see how the climate system might react over the next hundreds of years if greenhouse gas emissions kept rising to a high level until 2100, and then were zeroed out. Study shows that by the year 3000, half of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere before 2100 would still be there, and global average temperatures that rose by some 3.5 C would as we kept emitting greenhouse gases would stay roughly at that level, even after the emissions ended. Consequences might be Antarctica would become much hotter with additional 9° C after 2100.  It also cause rise in sea level  by upto 4 meters. Changes in ocean currents/temperature may cause imbalance in hydrological cycle.

We can prevent global warming; if we can succeed in reducing carbon emissions as soon as possible. As time passes we are becoming more advanced in terms of technology. May be we could develop zero/low carbon economy some time in the near future but the climatological clock is running very fast and needs remediation actions on present conditions as time does not wait for us.