Surprise CO2 Rise May Signal Speed Up Global Warming

Some scientists think that the abrupt speed-up in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations may be evidence of the long-feared climate change "feedback" mechanism...

Published: 10-Oct-2004

The rate at which global warming gases are accumulating in the atmosphere has taken a sharp leap upwards, leading to fears that the devastating effects of climate change may hit the world even sooner than has been predicted.

Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2 ), the principal greenhouse gas, have made a sudden jump that cannot be explained by any corresponding jump in terrestrial emissions of CO2 from power stations and motor vehicles - because there has been none.

Some scientists think instead that the abrupt speed-up may be evidence of the long-feared climate change "feedback" mechanism, by which global warming causes alterations to the earth's natural systems and then, in turn, causes the warming to increase even more rapidly than before.

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