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Median time between CO2 emission and the maximum warming caused by it is 10.1 years: Study

Dec 5, 2014 17:41 IST

The median time it takes to cause maximum warming following a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emission is 10.1 years. This was revealed by study titled Maximum warming occurs about one decade after a carbon dioxide emission published in journal Environmental Research Letters on 2 December 2014.

The study was conducted by Katharine L Ricke and Ken Caldeira of Carnegie Institution for Science.


Apparatus of the study
• For the study, the researchers combined the results from two large modelling studies - carbon-cycle and physical-climate model inter-comparison projects.
• One is about the way carbon emissions interact with the global carbon cycle and other is about the effect of carbon on the Earth's climate used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
• Further, they evaluated the uncertainties in timing and amount of warming and divided them into three contributing factors: carbon cycle, climate sensitivity and ocean thermal inertia. If uncertainty in any one factor is reduced to zero without reducing uncertainty in the other factors, the majority of overall uncertainty remains there.

Findings of the Study
• After carrying out the conjoined study, researchers found that the median time between an emission and the maximum warming is 10.1 years, with a 90 percent probability range of 6.6–30.7 years.
• The study further found that the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions can cause long-term environmental damage. The findings of the study were published in the.
• The warming caused by a single emission reaches the maximum number of people quickly, but the damage caused by this warming can play out over longer periods leading to sea level rise and also causing harm to ecosystems.
• The results indicated that benefit from avoided climate damage from avoided CO2 emissions will be manifested within the lifetimes of people who acted to avoid that emission.

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