Climate Change May Continue for at Least a Millennium (Correct)
2011-01-10 15:45:33.188 GMT
(Corrects temperature conversion in last paragraph.)
By Rudy Ruitenberg
Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Climate change may be unstoppable
for the next millennium.
Rising carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere will affect
the climate for at least another 1,000 years, based on a
simulation by researchers at Canada's University of Victoria and
University of Calgary. That will cause the West Antarctic ice
sheet to collapse by the year 3000 and raise sea levels by 4
meters (13 feet), it showed.
The study, published online in Nature Geoscience, is the
first full climate model to make predictions so far into the
future, the Calgary university said in a Jan. 9 statement.
Researchers studied the length of time needed to reverse
climate-change trends if the world stopped using fossil fuels
and putting CO2 in the atmosphere as of 2010 and 2100.
"Ongoing regional changes in temperature and precipitation
are significant following a complete cessation of carbon-dioxide
emissions in 2100, despite almost constant global mean
temperatures," researchers led by Nathan P. Gillett at the
Victoria university said.
The effects' duration may be related to inertia in world
oceans, with parts of the southern Atlantic Ocean beginning to
warm only now as a result of CO2 emissions in the previous
century, according to the researchers.
"The simulation showed that warming will continue, rather
than stop or reverse, on the 1,000-year time scale," Shawn
Marshall, a geography professor at the University of Calgary,
said in the statement.
The Northern Hemisphere is better off in the computer
simulation, with climate-change patterns reversing in the
timeframe in places including Canada, the study shows.
Parts of North Africa would experience desertification as
land dries out by up to 30 percent, according to the
researchers. Ocean warming off Antarctica of up to 5 degrees
Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) is likely to trigger "widespread
collapse" of the West Antarctic ice sheet, the study shows.
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--Editors: Dan Weeks, Claudia Carpenter.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at +33-1-5365-5039 or
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Claudia Carpenter at +44-20-7330-7304 or