Even without new emissions, planet would still see global warming

Even if all the factories and power plants and cars on earth were to suddenly stop clogging the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the atmosphere would still continue to warm over the next 100 years, two new studies in the journal Science suggest. And, says researcher Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, even in this imaginary world of significantly reduced or eliminated emissions, sea levels would also continue to rise — as much as four inches a century. If various ice sheets melt entirely, sea levels could rise high enough to soggify chunks of Florida, Bangladesh, and Manhattan. Researchers from NCAR made their projection after running computer models based on a variety of climate-change scenarios, including one that predicted results based on levels of greenhouse gases in 2000. “The feeling is that if things are getting bad, you hit the stop button,” says NCAR climatologist Gerald Meehl. “But even if you do, the climate continues to change.”