If carbon dioxide emissions are stopped immediately, how long can the earth cool down? Scientist’s answer is pessimistic

By yqqlm yqqlm

There is no doubt that global warming has become the culprit of the deterioration of the earth’s environment, and is the most important reason for the decline of the earth’s livability and biological extinction. The cause of global warming is the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide and other gases.

In order to protect the earth, countries all over the world have agreed to save energy and reduce emissions, develop new energy sources, and plant trees. While controlling carbon dioxide emissions, they also try to absorb carbon dioxide through plant photosynthesis. We hope that we can reverse the increasing trend of carbon dioxide, reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air, and stop the planet from”fever”.

However, a recent study may have given us a The pessimistic answer:Even if we stop carbon dioxide emissions immediately, I am afraid that global temperatures will not drop immediately.

This research comes from the Norwegian International Center for Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO). The scientists of the center published a paper on this pessimistic news in the journal Nature Communications. The main author is Bjørn H. Samset.

The results of their research show that even if we stop carbon dioxide emissions tomorrow, the global climate will be able to be reversed decades later. However, this does not mean that energy saving and emission reduction are not important. On the contrary, this result tells us:it is urgent to stop global warming, otherwise it will be too late.

Samset metaphor says:”Human-induced climate change is like It is a cruise ship that sails fast in huge waves. If you want to slow down the cruise ship, you must reverse the engine rotation. However, before you can feel the cruise ship slow down, it will continue to sail forward for a while under the push of the waves. Distance.”

In order to determine”how long will the cruise ship sail before decelerating,” Samset et al. simulated the process of global temperature changes using a computer. In addition, in order to describe this process more objectively, completely, and comprehensively, they conducted different simulations based on the three emission reduction requirements formulated by humans (that is, three”deceleration” modes).

Samset pointed out that RCP2.6 is the most stringent measure among the various environmental models developed by scientists to alleviate global warming. RCP is a measure of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is required that the reduction of global carbon emissions will be achieved in 2020 and zero emissions of carbon dioxide will be achieved in 2100; however, the simulation structure shows that even if we achieve RCP2.6, the global temperature will not start to decline until 2047.

(picture description :Global temperature changes under the three models, and the blur around the three lines indicates the range of possible changes)

Samset further explained the reasons for this, he pointed out:greenhouse gases do affect the The climate of the earth is not the only influencing factor. Climate is a very complex natural system with its own changing factors.”The feedback from climate upheavals, geophysical processes not accounted for in the basic model, and the impact of events such as mountain fires may give us The detection of changes in the earth’s climate is more complicated.”

“Even under the most stringent and strongest mitigation measures, the inertia of the climate system and its own variable characteristics will delay (cool down) changes.”” they wrote in the paper.

(picture description :Reedt Volcano, Alaska, the climate change of the earth is also largely affected by these volcanoes)

Samset also gave an example of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic:”The impact of climate change can be Use the social distance caused by the global New Crown Virus to make an analogy:Although such measures will play a key role from the beginning, However, due to the incubation period of the disease, it will take some time to see its limit on the infection rate. Similarly, all reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the amount of heat absorbed, but we need some time to observe this effect.< /p>

“Fortunately, we have other alternatives. We have a method for quickly detecting emission reductions. If we find that the amount of greenhouse gases in the air increases slowly, we can detect them. However, our real concern is temperature, because it and some other factors are behind the scenes of the frequency and severity of extreme weather. Regarding temperature, it will take decades for us to see the effect. ”

At the same time, they are not just The focus is on carbon dioxide, and another important gas is considered-methane. Methane and carbon dioxide are the most important gases that cause the greenhouse effect, and methane is not often mentioned because its content in the air is too small , But its ability to cause a greenhouse effect far exceeds carbon dioxide. Therefore, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions, how to control methane emissions is also crucial.

Of course, this simulation is not necessarily completely accurate. However, the most important thing about this model is not how accurate it is to tell us when the earth will start to cool down, but to warn us how urgent it is to save energy and reduce emissions. The temperature of the earth is like a car driving on a highway. Very long acceleration distance. If you think of the brake when you reach the edge of danger, everything is too late.

As they pointed out in the paper:”The focus of this article is to allow everyone to re-establish expectations for climate improvement. In a way, it’s to tell everyone:be patient. Today, the goals of the Paris Agreement and the focus of everyone’s attention are focused on the visible temperature changes, but among all the changes brought about by greenhouse gas emission reductions, this is one of the latest data that can be measured. This does not mean that reducing emissions has no effect, but tells us to be patient, the climate will take decades to change. The challenge we face now is how to prevent climate warming as much as possible, and as fast as possible.

In fact, this study is also very reasonable. Our exhaust emissions are no longer a matter of years or decades. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it has brought serious disaster to the earth’s atmosphere. Therefore, we cannot expect the destruction of hundreds of years to be completely reversed overnight. If we achieve energy saving and emission reduction one day in the future, but the earth does not cool down immediately, we should not be disappointed because we are creating a better In the future.

As the researchers said, we are currently The first thing to do is to prevent the climate from deteriorating further. If we achieve this goal earlier, we can save more creatures and the natural environment. If humans have successfully cooled the earth, but found that most of the creatures are extinct, then The earth is no different than a terrible desert.