UN climate conferences obsolete
New study considers vegetation cooling
A new NASA computer modelling effort has found that the additional growth of plants and trees in a world with doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide levels would create a new negative feedback — a cooling effect — on the Earth’s climate system that could work to reduce future global warming to only +1.64°C if carbon dioxide was doubled. The IPCC had assumed a +3°C warming in that case.
The cooling effect would be -0.3 degrees Celsius globally and -0.6 degrees C over land, compared to simulations where the feedback was not included, said Lahouari Bounoua, of Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Bounoua is lead author on the paper that was published Dec 7, 2010, in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
With the negative feedback included, the model found a warming of 1.64 degrees C globally when carbon dioxide was doubled.
Doubling the CO2 contents in the atmosphere from 390 ppmv to 780 ppmv would require some 195 years with the present growth rate of 2 ppm/year. This means, however, that until the year 2100 we have to expect a temperature increase of only 0.75°C. Also, with the higher IPCC value, the resulting temperature growth would be well below the limit of 2°C which has been decided as a limit by the recent conference in Cancun.
Apparently none of the 15,000 participants in Cancun has recognized this fact (or, rather, did not want to do so) since this means that the political UN conference-circus is indeed obsolete. No new post-Kyoto agreement is required, nor a reduction of CO2 emissions at all.
However, we must expect that the expensive annual mega-meetings will continue, since no participant wants to give up these free vacation weeks in one of the more beautiful places of this planet (Kyoto – Bali – Nairobi – Rio de Janeiro – Geneva – New Delhi – Marrakesh – Buenos Aires – Copenhagen – Cancun – and next year Durban, South Africa).
The most important decision at each of 16 conferences was to meet again next year. And if it were only for that reason, then the “fight against climate change” must be continued.