Today’s Climate Change Impacts Could Extend for Millennia
Chris Mooney for the Washington Post
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Nature Climate Change Perspectives article co-authored by Susan Solomon discusses the consequences of 21st century policy for multi-millennial climate and sea-level change.
A large group of climate scientists has made a bracing statement in the journal Nature Climate Change, arguing that we are mistaken if we think global warming is only a matter of the next 100 years or so — in fact, they say, we are locking in changes that will play out over as many as 10,000 years.
“The next few decades offer a brief window of opportunity to minimize large-scale and potentially catastrophic climate change that will extend longer than the entire history of human civilization thus far,” write the 22 climate researchers, led by Peter Clark, from Oregon State University.
The author names include not only a number of very influential climate scientists in general but several key leaders behind major reports from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, including MIT’s Susan Solomon and Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern in Switzerland.
Susan Solomon is internationally recognized as a leader in atmospheric science, particularly for her insights in explaining the cause of the Antarctic ozone "hole". She and her colleagues have made important contributions to understanding chemistry/climate coupling, including leading research on the irreversibility of global warming linked to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, and on the influence of the ozone hole on the climate of the southern hemisphere. Her current focus is on issues relating to both atmospheric chemistry and climate change.
Clark et al. (2016), Consequences of twenty-first-century policy for multi-millennial climate and sea-level change, Nature Climate Change, Published online 08 February 2016, doi: 10.1038/nclimate2923