From here to eternity: Global warming in geologic time

Recording Details

Speaker(s): 
PIRSA Number: 
06120045

Abstract

Using results from models of the atmosphere/ocean/sediment carbon cycle, the impacts of fossil-fuel CO2 release will be examined – including the effect on climate many thousands of years into the future, rather than for just a few centuries as commonly claimed. Prof. Archer will explain how aspects of the Earth system, such as the growth or melting of the great ice sheets, the thawing of permafrost, and the release of methane from the methane hydrate deposits in the deep ocean, take thousands of years to respond to a change in climate. The duration of our potential climate adventure is comparable to the pacing of climate changes in the past, which enables us to use the geologic record of past climate changes to predict the trajectory of global warming into the deep future. In particular, the record of sea level variations in the past suggests that the ultimate sea level response to fossil fuel CO2 use could be 10 to 100 times higher than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast for the year 2100. models, greenhouse gas, temperature forecast, medieval warm, little ice age, Greenland, Heinrich Events, fossil fuel, Climber Model Hysteresis, Ganopolski, Buffett, methane hydrates, Palaeocene, Eocene, Thermal Maximum Event