Life on a Warmer Earth - Possible Climatic Consequences of Man-Made Global Warming

Flohn H (1981). Life on a Warmer Earth - Possible Climatic Consequences of Man-Made Global Warming. IIASA Executive Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: ER-81-003

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Abstract

An IIASA Executive Report based on and IIASA research report by H. Flohn, who has taken a paleoclimatic approach to gaining insights into the implications of global warming produced by he burning of fossil fuels. Using the most reliable radiation models for the relation between carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere and temperature, Flohn selects thresholds of temperature increase, which he then speculates would produce climatic conditions similar to those of earlier periods in the earth's history.

He establishes a four-part scenario. An increase in the global average surface temperature (GAST) of 1 degree C, which could occur around 2000-2010 at the projected rate of fossil fuel consumption, would correspond to the GAST 1,000 years ago during the early middle ages. Warming of 1.5 degrees C could occur around 2005-2030, mimicking conditions 6000 years ago at the peak of the Holocene period. Warming of 2.5 degrees C is considered possible around 2020-2050, corresponding to the last interglacial period 120,000 years ago. Finally, an increase of the GAST by 4 degrees C could be reached 2040-2080, producing conditions that occurred during the late Tertiary Period from 2.5 to 12 million years ago, a remarkable epoch when the North Pole became ice free while the South Pole remained glaciated. The Executive Report briefly describe what is known and generally assumed about the climate of the earth during each of the four periods.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Executive Report)
Research Programs: Energy Program (ENP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:49
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2017 18:13
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/1595

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