So we fucked it up, all of it – and then some (very likely)

There’s a new study out by two Swiss researchers, Markus Huber and Reto Knutti, who try to nail down how much of the warming trend earth experiences is due to human contribution. Not being an expert on this stuff I will simply defer to those who are:

Anthropogenic and natural warming inferred from changes in Earth’s energy balance

(sorry, not Open Access) Good summary and take here, at Joe Romm’s excellent blog ThinkProgress.

In short, humans are likely responsible for more than 100% of the warming since 1950. Gee, lucky us: we had some natural causes of climate change work FOR us, countering our actions. Volcanoes, the sun, Milankovitch cycles. And our own waste, in the form of aerosols. Now that we have cleaned them up and thrown a few billions more tons of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere things catch up with us.

Now, you may say “Half a degree or so, what’s the fuzz?” But that’s half a degree of heating on the surface. Most of the heat goes into the oceans. To put that into perspective I’ll steal a graph from Skeptical Science:

Total Earth Heat Content from 1950 to 2003 (Murphy 2009).

OUCH!

Now go and kick the collective asses of your political representatives about this. GO!

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About Heinrich Mallison

I'm a dinosaur biomech guy working at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
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