Washington: A new study has predicted that global warming from fossil fuel burning could be more intense and longer-lasting in the future, than previously thought.
This prediction has emerged from a new study by Richard Zeebe at the University of Hawaii who includes insights from episodes of climate change in the geologic past to inform projections of man-made future climate change.
Humans keep adding large amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, among them carbon dioxide (CO2), the most important man-made greenhouse gas.
Over the past 250 years, human activities such as fossil fuel burning have raised the atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than 40% over its preindustrial level of 280 ppm (parts per million).
In May 2013, the CO2 concentration in Earth`s atmosphere surpassed a milestone of 400 ppm for the first time in human history, a level that many scientists consider dangerous for its impact on Earth`s climate.
The globe is likely to become warmer in the near future, and probably a lot warmer in the distant future.
The study has suggested that amplified and prolonged warming due to unabated fossil fuel burning raises the probability that large ice sheets will melt, leading to significant sea level rise.
Zeebe has used past climate episodes as analogs for the future, which suggest that so-called slow climate `feedbacks` can boost climate sensitivity and amplify warming.