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Global Warming - Thinking the Unthinkable

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The Lit & Phil

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Global Warming - Thinking the Unthinkable

John Urquhart

Are we being told the truth about global warming? Recent research based on satellite observations reveals the news is much worse than previously thought. It appears that there is a positive feedback involving water vapour. Already, global warming is 7 times faster than previously predicted and will continue to accelerate so that by 2040 it will have increased by a further factor of 8.

At the moment, most of its effect is hidden in the surface waters of the oceans in the form of increased temperature. Unfortunately in the tropics, increased sea surface temperatures (SSTs) result in much greater evaporation and deep convection to the upper troposphere of clear water vapour, where it acts as a potent greenhouse gas thus further increasing SSTs.

On this basis by 2050, average world temperatures will be 4 degrees centigrade higher than today; sea level rise will be between 3 and 4.8 metres. On a worst case reasonable assessment, all polar ice will have melted by 2078 leading to a total world sea level rise of 77 metres. That is in 58 years, well within the lifetime of today's primary school children.

The present day focus on lowering CO2 levels while failing to address the need to reduce SSTs in the tropics could be fatal. For this reason, climate action plans that concentrate solely on CO2 reduction should not be supported.

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