Long-Term Legacy of Fossil Fuels
Long-Term Legacy of CO2
It is commonly assumed that the ‘CO2 problem’ will only persist for a few centuries, and will rapidly dissipate once we stop emitting CO2. This perception is probably false. Model runs with simple box models such as this one suggest otherwise.
There are valid scientific reasons for suspecting that a fraction of CO2 emissions will remain in the atmosphere for many millennia after emissions cease, possibly even for hundreds of thousands of years. CO2 emissions may leave a legacy that will still be around long after nuclear waste is no longer radioactive. This has implications for issues such as ice-sheet melting, long-term sea-level rise and even for the likelihood of future ice ages.
1. D. Archer and A. Ganopolski (2005) A movable trigger: Fossil fuel CO2 and the onset of the next glaciation. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 6, Art. no. Q05003.
2. D. Archer (2005) Fate of fossil fuel CO2 in geologic time. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 110(C9): Art. no. C09S05.
3. T Tyrrell (2007) The long-term legacy of fossil fuels. Tellus B, 59: 664-672.
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