Even if humanity stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, Earth will warm for centuries to come and oceans will rise by metres, according to a controversial modelling study published Thursday.
Natural drivers of global warming — more heat-trapping clouds, thawing permafrost, and shrinking sea ice — already set in motion by carbon pollution will take on their own momentum, researchers from Norway reported in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.
According to our models, humanity is beyond the point-of-no-return when it comes to halting the melting of permafrost using greenhouse gas cuts as the single tool,” lead author Jorgen Randers, a professor emeritus of climate strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School, told AFP.null
“If we want to stop this melting process we must do something in addition — for example, suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and store it underground, and make Earth’s surface brighter.”
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