A new scientific study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reaches a powerful conclusion about the climate change caused by future increases of carbon dioxide: to a large extent, there’s no going back.
The pioneering study, led by NOAA senior scientist Susan Solomon, shows how changes in surface temperature, rainfall, and sea level are largely irreversible for more than 1,000 years after carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are completely stopped. The findings appear during the week of January 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It's become abundantly clear that merely reducing greenhouse emissions is, at best, only half the battle. We direly need a global program to isolate and confine the C02 that's already there -- and if that entails an enormously costly and unpopular "geo-engineering" campaign then, frankly, so be it.
Personally, given the political reticence that's greeted even token efforts to address the problem scientifically, I have great difficulty imagining that we'll summon the foresight to grapple with this problem on its own terms.