02 Dec '11, 7pm

On the Climate High End, Methane Time Bombs and the Lure of the New

The LGM [again this is the peak of the last ice age ] gives us some information on how the climate responds to reduced CO2 in a cooler world, and that can help evaluate models used to project the future. But there are also periods in the past that were warmer than present, and these also provide valuable hints as to climate sensitivity, though the information we have about such times is not as detailed as what we have about the LGM. One key period is the Pliocene warm period, about 5 million years ago. It is estimated that CO2 at the time was only moderately greater than pre-industrial — about 400 ppm, a number we are fast closing in on (though there is considerable debate about actual Pliocene CO2 levels). Yet the Pliocene world was very different today, with a much warmer Northern hemisphere, a deglaciated Greenland, episodic deglaciation of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet,...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/on-the-clima...

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superadrianme.com 10 Dec '11, 9am

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