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Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Scientist Predictions

Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Scientist Predictions

Not to be the bearers of bad news here, but scientists are saying that climate changes are occurring more rapidly than previously predicted. Scientists recently revealed that industrial greenhouse gas emissions have increased more quickly than expected, while emissions from burning fossil fuels since 2000 are much higher than previously estimated.

“We are basically looking now at a future climate that’s beyond anything we’ve considered seriously in climate model simulations,” Christopher Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University and member of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Professor Field also said that the rapid increase in coal-burning since 2000 presents “a real risk that human-caused climate change will accelerate the release of carbon dioxide from forest and tundra ecosystems, which have been storing a lot of carbon for thousands of years.”

Scientists also fear that the release of CO2 from melting permafrost could accelerate warming in a “loop” that would be too overwhelming for humans to control. Luckily, scientists are optimistic over President Obama’s commitment to energy issues, as well as his support for science and environmental research.

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