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Old 02-04-2013, 10:24 PM   #445 (permalink)
NeilBlanchard
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Once the carbon dioxide is in the air, it stays there for a very, very long time.

It is the quickness of this warming that is the problem with this human caused climate change. All of life has to evolve or die, and it takes time to evolve or adapt. In the past, some climate change events were because the earth's orbit or axis of rotation changed, and this happens over 10's of thousands of years. This time it is in about 250 years, with most of that in the last 30-40 years or so. There is a lag time between us adding carbon dioxide until more and more heat is retained. If we stopped all burning of fossil fuels tomorrow, we would still have several decades of warming, if not centuries.

The last time the atmosphere had as much carbon dioxide as we have now, the ocean level was 20 METERS higher - about 69 feet. Physics doesn't "bend" so that sort of change is coming in maybe the next 1-2 thousand years - hopefully it takes longer, but we don't really know; since this change is so rapid. It might be quicker...
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