Friday, January 30, 2009

Consequences of global warming 'irreversible'?

The BBC is running a pretty depressing headline, "Global warming is 'irreversible." This according to US Department of Energy report concluding that, even if we stop polluting the atmosphere, "temperatures could remain high for 1,000 years." Of course, that's not forever. That's not "irreversible." But the point, said one researcher is, "People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide the climate would go back to normal in 100 years, 200 year - that's not true."

Who cares? For one, we'd have to get used to less rainfall in parts of the world that are already suffering from serious drought.

Still don't care? "Global warming could suffocate the sea,"
reported New Scientist recently. That's because warmer water can't hold as much oxygen. And according to computer modeling done by a University of Copenhagen team, global warming could cause oxygen levels in the world's oceans to crash 40 percent, causing a 20-fold increase in "dead zones" where fish can't survive.

The best part? This is irreversible. At least from a practical standpoint. Even after 100,000 years, oxygen levels only recover 90 percent.

(Photo by
senor codo via flickr)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.