Thursday, July 05, 2007
Climate stability: an inconvenient proof
This paper demonstrates that the widely prophesied doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from natural, pre-industrial values will enhance the so-called ‘greenhouse effect’ but will amount to less than 1°C of global warming. It also points out that such a scenario is unlikely to arise given our limited reserves of fossil fuels—certainly not before the end of this century. Furthermore, the paper argues that general circulation models are as yet insufficiently accurate for civil engineers to rely on their predictions in any forward-planning decisions—the omission of solar wind effects being a potentially significant shortcoming. It concludes that the only certainty is that the world's fossil fuel resources are finite and should be used prudently and with proper respect to the environment.