Scientists alarmed by global warming
Date: Monday, September 12 2005
The following was sent to me by a world-class scientist friend, a Harvard fellow among other titles, and I'm forwarding it without comment. To the best of my recollection, the New Scientist is an American publication.
Global warming looks set to be much worse than previously forecast, according to new research. Ironically, the crucial evidence is how little warming there has been so far.
Three top climate researchers claim that the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere should have warmed the world more than they have. The reason they have not, they say, is that the warming is being masked by sun-blocking smoke, dust and other polluting particles put into the air by human activity.
But they warn that in future this protection will lessen due to controls on pollution. Their best guess is that, as the mask is removed, temperatures will warm by at least 6°C by 2100. That is substantially above the current predictions of 1.5 to 4.5°C.
"Such an enormous increase would be comparable to the temperature change from the previous ice age to the present," says one of the researchers, Meinrat Andreae of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. "It is so far outside the range covered by our experience and scientific understanding that we cannot with any confidence predict the consequences for the Earth."
[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on September 12, 2005]