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Curious layman

Ending greenhouse gas emissions may not stop global warming: study

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The model has been criticized - even in the article - for not being very good.



"The model used here is ... not shown to be a credible representation of the real climate system," said Richard Betts, head of climate impacts research at the University of Exeter.

"In fact, it is directly contradicted by more established and extensively evaluated climate models."



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There are real feedbacks capable of continuing the warming after human emissions cease and determining what they might do is important. Whether this particular study has the number right or not the potential for natural Carbon sinks to turn into sources as a consequence of warming so far and carrying warming past a threshold into self sustaining is real, as are albedo changes from ice and snow cover. It would be good to know - and despite the extent of our knowing better but doing it anyway approach, the potential for science based understanding to inform policy is there.

My impression is there is an expectation (but not certainty) that a sudden cessation of human emissions now will result in warming stopping, that those feedbacks are not yet so strong as to carry on much further warming - beyond potential for a short lived "spike" from the sudden reduction of atmospheric aerosols that come from fossil fuel burning, moderated by a reduction in atmospheric CO2 (and warming potential) from ocean uptake.

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