Currently Carbon Dioxide concentrations are above 380 parts per million, which is above the threshold for a warm climate. A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, released at 5 p.m. yesterday shows that carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere longer than other greenhouse gases.
“I think you have to think about this stuff as more like nuclear waste than acid rain: The more we add, the worse off we’ll be,” NOAA senior scientist Susan Solomon told the Washington Post over the phone. “The more time that we take to make decisions about carbon dioxide, the more irreversible climate change we’ll be locked into.”
The researchers predict that Carbon Dioxide concentrations will continue to increase and peak at 6oo ppm in some areas. This dramatic increase, researchers say will cause a rise in sea level and droughts reminiscent of the dust bowl.
This study spells trouble for threatened alpine species like the American Pika who will die-off if its body temperature is raised a few degrees. For more about the pika’s plight read my earlier entry “Protection for the Pika?“